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March 15, 2013
11:17 EDTVRTXVertex Pharma May volatility elevated at 60
Vertex Pharma April call option implied volatility is at 52, May is at 60, July is at 54; above its 26-week average of 48 according to Track Data, suggesting larger price movement into upcoming VX-661/Kalydeco cystic fibrosis combo study.
News For VRTX From The Last 14 Days
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October 8, 2015
09:04 EDTVRTXVertex says advancing two correctors from CF treatment program
Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced significant progress in its development efforts to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis for the vast majority of people with the disease. These updates were made in conjunction with the 29th Annual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference. More than 15 abstracts related to Vertex's CF development program were accepted for presentation at NACFC. The company said it is advancing two next-generation correctors from its research program into clinical development. Known as VX-152 and VX-440, these next-generation correctors will be evaluated alone and in combination with VX-661/ivacaftor in Phase 1 studies in healthy volunteers beginning in November 2015. Pending results of these studies, Vertex plans to initiate Phase 2 studies in people with CF evaluating VX-440 or VX-152 in combination with VX-661/ivacaftor in the second half of 2016.
06:32 EDTVRTXPiper Jaffray explains why drug prices are justifiable
Piper Jaffray's team of Biopharma analysts, led by Joshua Schimmer, explain this morning in research note to investors why they believe drug prices are justifiable. The "fairly lopsided" drug-pricing discussion "noise" has created attractive entry points for stocks in the sector, the analysts argue. They say that after adjusting for actual inflation, the growth of drug prices "does not seem particularly concerning." The current dialogue on the topic under-emphasizes the need to provide "extremely attractive incentives" for companies to embark on the "highly risky, capital-intensive, long-development cycle drug development path which is needed to bring new cures for important diseases," the analysts contend. Schimmer's top picks are Alexion (ALXN), Celgene (CELG) and Amgen (AMGN) in the large-cap space, GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) and bluebird bio (BLUE) among mid-caps, and Flex Pharma (FLKS), Lion Biotechnologies (LBIO), Otonomy (OTIC) and Ignyta (RXDX) in the small-cap sector.
October 7, 2015
16:55 EDTVRTXVertex announces FDA acceptance of sNDA for KALYDECO
Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced that the U.S. FDA has accepted for review a supplemental New Drug Application for the use of KALYDECO in people with cystic fibrosis ages 2 and older who have one of 23 residual function mutations. The FDA granted Vertex's request for Priority Review of this sNDA, and a target review date of February 6, 2016 was set under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act for the FDA's decision on the sNDA. The submission was based on preclinical and clinical data showing the effect of ivacaftor on CFTR function in certain residual function mutations. The sNDA was based on preclinical data for ivacaftor in the 23 residual function mutations, the established clinical profile of KALYDECO and on previously reported data from an exploratory Phase 2a study in 24 people with residual function mutations. In 19 of the 24 patients enrolled in this study, 8 of the 23 mutations proposed in the sNDA were represented.
October 2, 2015
11:18 EDTVRTXMorgan 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 EDTVRTXOn 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 EDTVRTXVertex 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 EDTVRTXOn 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 EDTVRTXCowen 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 EDTVRTXOn 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 EDTVRTXVertex upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus
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September 25, 2015
16:17 EDTVRTXOn 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 EDTVRTXVertex receives CHMP positive opinions for Orkambi, Kalydeco in EU
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