|December 19, 2012|
|08:31 EDT||VRTX||Vertex announces update to U.S. prescribing information for INCIVEK|
Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced that the INCIVEK label in the United States has been updated to include a Boxed Warning stating that fatal and non-fatal serious skin reactions have been reported in patients taking INCIVEK combination treatment. Fatal cases of serious skin reactions have been reported in patients with progressive rash and systemic symptoms who continued to receive INCIVEK combination treatment after a serious skin reaction was identified. In Phase 3 clinical trials, less than 1% of people who received INCIVEK combination treatment experienced a serious skin reaction. These serious skin reactions required hospitalization and all patients recovered. The INCIVEK label was also updated to include additional information on the time to onset and management of anemia.
News For VRTX From The Last 14 Days
|October 2, 2015|
|11:18 EDT||VRTX||Morgan Stanley downgrades select pharma stocks amid drug price scrutiny|
Morgan Stanley downgraded several stocks in the pharmaceutical sector, dropping drugmakers Valeant (VRX), Gilead (GILD) and Regeneron (REGN) to Equal Weight from Overweight. The firm also downgraded specialty pharmacy Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) to Equal Weight and cut its rating on drug distributor AmerisourceBergen (ABC) to Underweight, the firm's equivalent of a sell rating. WHAT'S NEW: Democrats' scrutiny of high drug prices may continue, warned Morgan Stanley analyst David Risinger. As a result, it is hard to predict when Valeant, which generated 14% of its Q2 sales rise from price increases, will see its P/E multiple rise, Risinger believes. The company's lower multiple will hinder its ability to conduct M&A and swap or issue equity, according to Risinger, who set a $200 price target on the stock. Morgan Stanley analyst Matthew Harrison downgraded Gilead, noting that U.S. hepatitis C volume growth has dropped in the last few months. Although Harrison thinks that the U.S. hepatitis C market is still strong, he believes that the data could cause the Street to become concerned about Gilead's fourth quarter and 2016 outlook. He set a $127 price target on the shares. Harrison also downgraded Regeneron, stating his belief that two other drug makers, Alexion (ALXN) and Vertex (VRTX), have stronger near-term appreciation potential. He added that Regeneron has a number of potential negative catalysts, including drug pricing concerns and his belief, based on physician feedback, that the launch of the company's cholesterol drug, Praluent, could miss expectations. He set a $593 price target on the shares. AmerisourceBergen, which provides pharmaceutical sourcing and distribution service to healthcare providers, is the most levered to branded price inflation and that attribute could weigh on the shares, said Risinger, who cut his price target to $93 from $120 on the stock. The uncertain outlook for drug prices could keep the stock range-bound, added the analyst. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Valeant dropped 2.3% to $175.50, Gilead declined 1% to $97.26, Regeneron was flat near to $472 per share and AmerisourceBergen slid 1.3% to $93.25.
|10:00 EDT||VRTX||On The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary |
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Alexion (ALXN) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... BlackRock (BLK) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at CLSA... EnPro (NPO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sidoti... Finish Line (FINL) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... FutureFuel (FF) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Roth Capital... Google (GOOG) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer... Johnson Controls (JCI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura... Kennametal (KMT) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... Lufthansa (DLAKY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at HSBC... Martin Marietta (MLM) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Longbow... Northern Trust (NTRS) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at UBS... PMC-Sierra (PMCS) upgraded to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna... Pfizer (PFE) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Realogy (RLGY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi... Sarepta (SRPT) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Wedbush... Summit Materials (SUM) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... TreeHouse (THS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... Vertex (VRTX) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.
|07:06 EDT||VRTX||Vertex upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley|
Morgan Stanley upgraded Vertex to Overweight and increased its price target to $148 from $118. Analyst Matthew Harrison said Verrtex shares have been under pressure due to competitive concerns and over-ownership and views the decline as an attractive entry point. Additionally, Harrison's physician feedback suggests a strong launch for Orkambi with 2015 revenues as much as $100M above consensus, and sees near-term catalysts from ENaC inhibitor data and '661 het-min study.
|September 29, 2015|
|12:33 EDT||VRTX||On The Fly: Top stock stories at midday|
Stocks on Wall Street were slightly higher at midday as the market seeks to break its losing streak, helped by an improvement in consumer confidence that came despite the recent market volatility. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in September. Analysts expected the consumer confidence reading to pull back to 96.8 from the prior 101.5 figure, but it actually strengthened to 103.0. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index was up a seasonally adjusted 0.2% month over month in July, versus the consensus forecast for a rise of 0.1%. Stocks sold off in much of Asia last night, with China's Shanghai composite index sliding 2% while Japan's Nikkei dropped 4%, erasing year-to-date gains in the process. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Yahoo (YHOO) advanced 3% after its board authorized the company to continue to pursue its spin-off of Aabaco Holdings, a newly formed independent registered investment company that will hold all of Yahoo's remaining holdings in Alibaba Group (BABA). MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Radius Health (RDUS), which rose nearly 10% after Ben Harrington of the Betaville blog stated during an appearance on Tip TV that he has heard that "something will be happening" in terms of M&A involving the company over the "next few weeks." Also higher were several recently beaten down biotech stocks that were seeing some bounceback, including Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), which gained 5%, and Biogen (BIIB), which advanced 4%. Notably, both of them, along with Amgen (AMGN), were mentioned in a note to investors by Cowen analyst Ken Cacciatore as "hypothetical" targets for Allergan (AGN). Among the noteworthy losers was OvaScience (OVAS), which dropped 38% after saying it now longer expects to meet its 2015 goal of 1,000 Augment cycles. Esperion (ESPR) also fell 38% after the company warned that the FDA could require it to undertake new studies before its ETC-1002 is approved. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 7.27, or 0.05%, to 16,009.16, the Nasdaq was up 7.38, or 0.16%, to 4,551.35, and the S&P 500 was up 4.56, or 0.24%, to 1,886.33.
|08:57 EDT||VRTX||Cowen lists Vertex, Biogen and Amgen as hypothetical Allergan targets|
Cowen analyst Ken Cacciatore noted that the price agreed for Allergan's (AGN) generic divestiture to Teva (TEVA) is fixed and that the cash value from this deal has not depreciated in any way while the corresponding valuations of potential targets have corrected, increasing the potential value creation available for Allergan as it decides how to deploy its capital. To illustrate the value creation that Allergan's capital deployment could generate, Cacciatore estimates the type of accretion potential that might be seen if the company were to buy Vertex with an acquisition price of $36.5B, if it were to acquire Biogen (BIIB) at a price of $91B or if it were to purchase Amgen (AMGN) with an acquisition price of $140B. Although the market correction has lowered Allergan's stock, the decline could be viewed as a near-term positive, given that a key component of its strategy and business model is to seek to aggressively deploy its capital, Cacciatore argues in a note to investors. The analyst keeps an Outperform rating and $400 price target on Allergan shares.
|September 28, 2015|
|10:00 EDT||VRTX||On The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary|
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: ANI Pharmaceuticals (ANIP) upgraded on valuation at Roth Capital... AbbVie (ABBV) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citi... Astec (ASTE) upgraded to Accumulate from Neutral at Global Hunter... Atmel (ATML) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James... BAE Systems (BAESY) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein... BG Group (BRGYY) upgraded on valuation at BMO Capital... Boston Scientific (BSX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham... C.H. Robinson (CHRW) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T... Citi (C) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Diamond Offshore (DO) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank... Endologix (ELGX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BTIG... Infosys (INFY) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Societe Generale... J.C. Penney (JCP) upgraded on confidence in CEO, initiatives at Sterne Agee CRT... Knowles (KN) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at FBR Capital... Lexicon (LXRX) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Gabelli... MTN Group (MTNOY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Natera (NTRA) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Wedbush... Omnicell (OMCL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sidoti... RBC Bearings (ROLL) upgraded to Buy from Accumulate at Global Hunter... Raptor Pharmaceuticals (RPTP) upgraded to Perform from Underperform at Oppenheimer... Regal Entertainment (RGC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley... Repsol (REPYY) upgraded on valuation at BMO Capital... Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Stoneridge (SRI) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T... Transocean (RIG) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank... Vertex (VRTX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus... Wabash (WNC) upgraded to Buy from Accumulate at Global Hunter.
|07:38 EDT||VRTX||Vertex upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus|
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|September 25, 2015|
|16:17 EDT||VRTX||On The Fly: Top stock stories for Friday|
Stocks opened with sharp gains the day after Fed Chair Janet Yellen gave some clarity to the market by suggesting the Fed will most likely raise interest rates by the end of the year. During afternoon trading, the news flow slowed and the volume lightened on the buy side, leaving the sellers with the upper hand. The Nasdaq was the first index to move into negative territory, led by broad weakness in biotech stocks, while the Dow was helped to stay in the green by a big post-earnings move higher in Nike (NKE). The averages limped into the close, leaving the market with an interesting set-up to begin next week. Outside of stock news, it was certainly a headline packed day, as Speaker of the House John Boehner announced that he will resign at the end of October, Chinese President Xi Jinping continued his U.S. visit and Pope Francis addressed the United Nations while spending a second day in New York City. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the third estimate of second quarter GDP showed the economy grew 3.9% quarter-over-quarter, versus expectations for the GDP growth estimate to stay at 3.7%. Personal consumption in Q2 is now believed to have grown 3.6%, up from the prior estimate of 3.1%. The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for September came in at 87.2, which was down from August's 91.9 but above the expected 86.2 reading... Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said during a speech at UMass Amherst last night that the central bank remains inclined to hike rates this year. Yellen's remarks were incrementally hawkish, but welcomed by the market, since they helped clarify the message the Fed delivered a week ago. Of note, the Fed chair paused multiple times toward the end of her speech and received medical attention afterward, but returned to her regular schedule later in the evening, with the bank explaining that Yellen was dehydrated after a long day but was otherwise fine. COMPANY NEWS: Nike jumped $10.23, or 8.9%, to $125.02 after Thursday night's report of better than expected earnings and futures orders prompted numerous price target hikes at Street research firms. Additionally, Sterne Agee upgraded Nike to Buy from Neutral, saying it thinks the company is benefiting from its "global grass roots engagement with its customers," which enables it to meet its customers' needs and determine to what extent it can raise prices. The firm, which thinks that the company is continuing to gain share, has a $150 price target on the athletic gear giant... Biotech stocks, which were already having a bad week, ended the week on a down note, as the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) fell 4.9%, giving it a weekly decline of about 13%. Among the biggest large-cap losers in the space were Vertex (VRTX), which fell 7%, Regeneron (REGN), which dropped 6% and Celgene (CELG), which slid 4.8%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Jabil Circuit (JBL), which advanced $2.38, or 12.2%, to $21.88 after it reported higher than expected earnings and gave guidance for its November quarter that was significantly above expectations. Also higher was Cirrus Logic (CRUS), which gained $3.90, or 14.4%, to $31.03 after tear downs of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 6S and 6S Plus led analysts to conclude that the chipmaker appears poised to obtain more revenue from the new devices than from the previous generation of the market-leading smartphone. Among the noteworthy losers was Finish Line (FINL), which fell $4.86, or 19.6%, to $19.91 after reporting second quarter revenue that missed expectations and saying it expects adjusted earnings this fiscal year to increase in a low single to mid single digits percentage from last year. Also lower following its earnings report was smartphone and software maker BlackBerry (BBRY), which slid 7.68% to $6.49 after the company posted a second quarter loss that was steeper than analysts expected. BlackBerry also confirmed press reports that it plans to launch a new phone that uses Google's (GOOG) Android operating system instead of its own proprietary BB10 OS. Shares of Aratana Therapeutics (PETX), which dropped $6.81, or 38.97%, to $10.68 after the company said that, based on "mixed clinical and scientific results," it does not believe that canine lymphoma products AT-004 and AT-005 in their current, first-generation forms will capture the desired lymphoma market opportunity. INDEXES: The Dow rose 113.35, or 0.7%, to 16,314.67, the Nasdaq fell 47.98, or 1.01%, to 4,686.50, and the S&P 500 added/slipped 0.90, or 0.05%, to 1,931.34.
|07:18 EDT||VRTX||Vertex receives CHMP positive opinions for Orkambi, Kalydeco in EU|
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|September 23, 2015|
|15:16 EDT||VRTX||Vertex weakness a buying opportunity, says RBC Capital|
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|September 22, 2015|
|20:02 EDT||VRTX||Clinton vows $250 cap on monthly drug costs in blast against biotechs, insurers|
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton railed against biotech companies as well as health insurers at a community health care forum in Iowa on Tuesday. Clinton began her speech by praising the Affordable Care Act, but quickly noted that she wants to strengthen it due to what she called the rising cost of prescription drugs. She explained, "Our pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries deserve credit... [But] too often, these drugs cost a fortune. Now, sometimes there is a good reason for that. Scientific breakthroughs are often the result of major investment... so it may makes sense, for a short period of time, to have to charge a lot of money for a drug. But when a drug has no competition, when there aren't any other treatments that can do what it does, pharmaceutical companies can charge astronomical fees far beyond anything that it would take to recoup their investment, and far beyond what they charge consumers anywhere else in the world outside of America." Referencing the recent criticism against Turing Pharmaceuticals, Clinton went on to say that "pharmaceutical companies that acquire an existing affordable drug that people rely on, and then turn around and charge a fortune for it, [are just betting] on the fact that desperate people will find some way to pay for it." Preemptively responding to questions of whether greater regulation will dampen investment, Clinton commented that "some people worry that my proposals will threaten innovation, but I have designed a plan that will do exactly the opposite... Under my plan, drug companies that want to keep getting federal support will have to redirect more of their profits into meaningful investments in research and development." Clinton also criticized incremental drug improvements, saying that "too often, so-called new drugs are really old drugs that have just been tweaked a little bit, but then they're marketed as breakthrough drugs and they're sold for high prices." The Democratic candidate went on to condemn advertising in the drug industry, remarking that "I also want to tackle direct to consumer advertising... Other countries ban these ads because they are so often misleading. But at the very least, we shouldn't be encouraging them with corporate write-offs... Under my plan, we will instead use that taxpayer money to fund innovation... I would also like to make sure any ads the drug industry does run are approved by the FDA." Moving more broadly onto Medicaid and health insurers, Clinton stated, "I believe Medicare should be able to negotiate for lower prices for its members... I will require drug companies to provide higher rebates for prescription drugs to low income Medicare patients, just like they have to do for Medicaid patients... I think the insurance companies need to be put on notice." Providing more concrete details of her plan, Clinton concluded, "I will cap out of pocket drug costs for working families. You won't have to pay more than $250 a month for covered medications... Particularly for people who have a chronic illness. Also under my plan, you will be able to import cheaper drugs from other countries legally. If the medicine you need costs less in Canada, you should be able to buy it from Canada or any other country that meets our safety standards... I will also make sure we have more generics on the market [by boosting funding for] the FDA's office of generic drugs."
|17:35 EDT||VRTX||Hillary Clinton vows to cap out-of-pocket drug costs at $250 per month|
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in a tweet that, "Under my plan, I'll cap out-of-pocket drug costs for families. You won't have to pay more than $250/month for covered medications." Reference Link
|08:23 EDT||VRTX||Analysts say buy select biotech stocks ahead of Clinton drug plan|
Ahead of Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton laying out her plan to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market at an event in Iowa later today, analysts at research firms Jefferies and Piper Jaffray are recommending select biotech stocks that they view as buys amid the weakness in the space. DEBATE: Biotech stocks broadly declined yesterday, with the NASDAQ Biotechnology index (IBB) sliding roughly 4.4%, after privately-held Turing Pharmaceuticals made headlines by enacting a 5,000% price increase on a 62-year-old drug that fights complication of AIDS and cancer. Furor around the sudden price hike for Turing's Daraprim reignited a debate around drug prices that previously embroiled costly Hepatitis C drugs including AbbVie's (ABBV) Viekira Pak and Gilead's (GILD) Sovaldi and Harvoni. The news also follows Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders issuing a letter in August to Valeant (VRX) and Pfizer's (PFE) Hospira, in which he requested information on the "enormous" price increases of two drugs Valeant acquired earlier in the year. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent the debate to center stage yesterday by criticizing the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs and promising to lay out a plan today to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market. Clinton's proposal, which she'll outline in a speech in Iowa later today, would force pharmaceutical companies to reinvest their profits into research, allow for more generic and imported drugs and allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug costs and cap out-of-pocket expenses, according to details of the plan shared with USA Today. Zeke Emanuel, chair of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, appeared on Nightly Business Report to discuss the problem of high drug prices and his suggested solutions. During his interview, Emanuel contended that giving Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices may drive up prices for everyone else. DEFENSES: The Jefferies Biotechnology research team, led by Brian Abrahams, Eun Yang and Biren Amin, say their Washington D.C. consultants indicate the recent political rhetoric around drug pricing is unlikely to result in any substantive future policy changes that would impact biotech sector fundamentals. As such, they recommend using yesterday's selloff to buy select companies including Celgene (CELG), BioMarin (BMRN) and Alkermes (ALKS). Pricing concerns are nothing new, and will likely continue to be a headwind for the sector, the analysts tell investors in a research note. Hillary Clinton's proposal to combat drug pricing is likely to include "some combination of old and tried policies that have been out there for a few years," they write. The analysts also like shares of AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG), Alder Biopharmaceuticals (ALDR) and Cempra (CEMP). Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray analyst Edward Tenthoff recommends buying shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) following yesterday's selloff. Tenthoff believes that drugs like Vertex's Orkambi will maintain premium pricing because of the disease modifying value to patients and payors. Orkambi is approved to treat cystic fibrosis in patients 12 years and older. The analyst reiterates an Overweight rating on Vertex with a $163 price target. DOWNGRADE: Brean Capital analyst Difei Yang downgraded Horizon Pharma (HZNP) to Hold saying "unsettling recent developments" make the stock's premium valuation no longer justified. The public discussion on high drug prices is a negative for the company while its attempt to acquire Depomed (DEPO) is unlikely to result in a completed deal, Yang tells investors in a research note. Further, Horizon's prescription trends are showing weakness, said Yang, who views the stock as more risky than in the past. PRICE ACTION: Horizon closed yesterday down $2.93, or 9.2%, at $28.99, while Vertex dropped $5.97, or 4.8%, to $118.19. A number of the biggest stocks in biotechnology were also weak yesterday, with Gilead sliding about 2.5%, Amgen (AMGN) dropping 2.3%, Celgene declining 2.8% and Biogen (BIIB) falling more than 5.5%.
|05:58 EDT||VRTX||Vertex pullback yesterday a buying opportunity, says Piper Jaffray|
Piper Jaffray analyst Edward Tenthoff recommends buying shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals following yesterday's selloff. Biotech names pulled back after Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced her intention to reveal a drug pricing plan to prevent "gouging," Tenthoff tells investors in a research note. He believes, however, that drugs like Vertex's Orkambi will maintain premium pricing because of the disease modifying value to patients and payors. Orkambi is approved to treat cystic fibrosis in patients 12 years and older. The analyst reiterates an Overweight rating on Vertex with a $163 price target. The stock closed yesterday down $5.97 to $118.19.