BARRON'S '" Two Biotech Beauties for the Long Run " ( CELG) linked.
| MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2012
Two Biotech Beauties for the Long Run
By JOHANNA BENNETT | MORE ARTICLES BY AUTHOR
Celgene and Gilead Sciences are two very different drug makers developing very different medications for very different patients.
But both companies released clinical trials results over the weekend that wowed investors. And at current valuations, both biotech stocks offer value to investors looking for companies able to grow sales and profit at a robust pace over the next few years.
Late Friday, Celgene (ticker: CELG), a cancer-drug specialist, gave investors a glimpse of data from a late-stage study showing that its drug Abraxane significantly improved the life spans of patients with pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest and hardest-to-treat diseases. And the company said it plans to submit the drug for approval in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.
Truth be told, Celgene offers more upside. BMO Capital Markets analyst James Birchenough sees the stock rising more than 20% in the next year to $90 a share. And at 13.7 times forward earnings, Celgene has rarely been this cheap in the last five years.
The company mainly sells drugs that treat blood cancers. But it has labored to expand into therapies for solid tumors, and in 2010 paid $2.7 billion to buy Abraxis BioScience. The deal gave it the drug Abraxane, which was already approved as a treatment for breast cancer, and in October, it received FDA approval or nonsmall-cell lung cancer.
But the pancreatic cancer market is potentially lucrative. If the FDA approves the new use, it could boost Celgene's chance of exceeding its goal to generate annual revenue of $8 billion to $9 billion by 2015, says UBS analyst Matt Roden. Or as he wrote in a note published today, "It vindicates the acquisition of Abraxis."
Still, with promising drugs in the pipeline, both stocks can deliver potent returns.