Healthcare Business

Why 6 Top Biotech Stocks Could Beat Wall Street Q4 Estimates

If most investors thought their portfolios took a beating during the final quarter of 2018, it was a good thing they were not all-in on the biotechnology segment. The VanEck Vectors Biotech ETF (NYSE: BBH) was down a stunning 25% between October 1 and December 24, and while the biotechs have rallied back smartly since then, it was a very difficult climb out of a massive hole.

In a new research report, the biotech team at SunTrust noted the big rally since the late December lows, with most of the commercial biotechs in the firm’s coverage universe up nicely, some as much as 36%. They feel that it would not be a major surprise to see six top companies they cover post results that beat top-line Wall Street expectations.

SunTrust rates all six at Buy, and while these stocks are much more suited for aggressive accounts with high risk tolerance, the companies are well established.

Agios Pharmaceuticals

This is a lower profile stock that makes sense for aggressive accounts. Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AGIO) is a biopharmaceutical company that engages in the discovery and development of novel investigational medicines to treat cancer and rare genetic diseases. It focuses on diseases that are directly caused by changes in genes or chromosomes, often passed from one generation to the next.

Its therapeutic areas of focus are cancer and rare genetic metabolic disorders, which are a group of over 600 rare genetic diseases caused by mutations, or defects, of single metabolic genes. SunTrust noted this:

Following a strong third quarter for TIBSOVO ($4.5 million vs street of ~$2-3 million), we would not be surprised to see the sales ramp to continue to drive a TIBSOVO revenue beat — above the ~$7.9 million consensus based upon 12 estimates, implying 88% quarter-over-quarter growth.

The SunTrust price target for the shares is $95, and the Wall Street consensus price objective which is $90.44. The stock closed Wednesday’s trading at $51.63.

Array BioPharma

This stock looks to be breaking out through a multiple top formation. Array BioPharma Inc. (NASDAQ: ARRY) engages in the research, development and commercialization of targeted small molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer and other high-burden diseases.

Its portfolio includes binimetinib, selumetinib, encorafenib, filanesib, ipatasertib, varltinib, danoprevir, ARRY-797, larotrectinib, tucatinib, ARRY-382, motolimod, prexasertib, GDC-0575, LOXO-292, LOXO-195 and AK-1830. The analyst report noted this:

Following a strong last quarter for BRAFTOVI + MEKTOVI in BRAF melanoma ($14 million versus street of $4 million), we would not be surprised to see Array beat the $21.7 million consensus for calendar fourth quarter 2018 (based upon 7 estimates, range ~$15-42 million, implying 55% quarter over quarter growth), as we expect the underlying sales ramp to continue.

SunTrust has a $26 price target, and the consensus target is $25.91. Shares closed on Wednesday at $18.47.

BioMarin Pharmaceuticals

This is one of Wall Street’s favorites and it posted solid earnings last year. BioMarin Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN) develops and commercializes innovative biopharmaceuticals for serious diseases and medical conditions. Its product portfolio comprises five approved products and multiple clinical and preclinical product candidates.

Over the past decade, BioMarin has become one of the top orphan drug companies, and it looks poised to stay there.  Roche recently has been mentioned as a company that could be looking at BioMarin. Roche is heavily focused on oncology drugs and invests heavily in early-stage molecules.

SunTrust remains very positive on the shares and noted this:

Our fourth quarter 2018 total revenue estimate is $371 million, which is slightly below the Street. However, the fourth quarter has historically (past five years) been a strong quarter for BioMarin. Thus, we would not be surprised if fourth quarter results beat consensus again. Three-year durability data from Valrox is expected mid-year, which we believe is the most important data readout in 2019 for BioMarin given the uncertainty.

SunTrust has set its price objective at $126. The consensus price objective is $120.59, and shares closed on Wednesday at $96.97, up almost 3% on the day.

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