Healthcare Business

Despite Market and Sector Risks, Why Credit Suisse Now Loves Top Biotechs

Credit Suisse sees solid fundamentals, despite a harsh market landscape, for large-cap biotech firms. There is a challenging macro setup, but headwinds combined with a relatively attractive valuation could carry these firms.

The top stocks on Credit Suisse’s list are Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX), Incyte Corp. (NASDAQ: INCY) and BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN). The firm initiated each of them with an Outperform rating.

The investment bank has a $125 price target on Gilead Sciences. The consensus view of Gilead is that there is a major patent cliff for the $13.5 billion HIV franchise in 2018 to 2021. For its hepatitis C franchise, there are also concerns around a lack of sustainability of revenues. Shares of Gilead were trading down 2.2% at $87.97 on Wednesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $123.13 and a 52-week trading range of $86.00 to $123.37.

Credit Suisse target price for Amgen is $205. The firm’s thesis is focused on a few points:

  • Near-term pipeline data
  • A positive view on PCSK9 outcomes
  • A bullish stance on biosimilars
  • Confidence in the base business estimates

Amgen shares were trading at $150.93, with a consensus price target of $184.31 and a 52-week range of $130.09 to $181.81.

The firm placed a $149 target price on Celgene. Credit Suisse believes that Celgene looks cheap relative to its growth after a review of current and pipeline products. The firm sees more upside potential on base business products than the street and on the company’s guidance. Shares of Celgene were trading down 1.1% at $101.89, with a consensus price target of $142.61 and a 52-week range of $92.98 to $140.72.

The Credit Suisse price objective for Vertex is $151. The company has no real competition in sight, and Credit Suisse thinks its advantage is sustainable due to innovation. The firm also sees upside with the HetMin opportunity. Vertex shares were trading down 3.1% at $92.01, with a consensus analyst target of $146.50 and a 52-week range of $91.92 to $143.45.

Incyte coverage comes with a $110 target price. Credit Suisse took a big picture look and sees upside potential on other programs besides epacadostat (the IDO). The firm thinks that baracitinib royalties will be higher than street expectations and that there will be a bigger market opportunity for Jakafi’s PV indication. Credit Suisse sees the pipeline as valuable and yielding interesting combos in cancer. However, the firm thinks that it will get more data on epacadostat over the next 12 months that may validate profile in different tumor types. Shares of Incyte were down 4.1% at $70.34, within a 52-week trading range of $70.17 to $133.62. The consensus price target is $132.83.

On BioMarin, Credit Suisse has a $110 price target. Credit Suisse has excluded Duchenne muscular dystrophy and hemophilia fully from its valuation and sees upside from current levels. This is due to the pipeline, and the firm is positively inclined on many of the readouts in 2016. BioMarin shares were trading down 5.7% at $75.00, with a consensus price target of $134.06 and a 52-week range of $74.69 to $151.75.

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