Shares of Celgene Corporation (CELG) hit a 52-week high of $131.13 in the first half of the trading session on May 13. This biopharmaceutical stock gained significant momentum following its strong performance in the first quarter of 2013 last month.
The reaffirmation of the rosy long-term outlook coupled with the impressive pipeline update provided at its analyst day a few days back have further boosted investor confidence in the stock.
This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company has delivered positive earnings surprises in each of the last four quarters with an average beat of 2.4%. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 24.6%.
Celgene Upbeat About Future
Celgene maintained its long-term view at its analyst day earlier in the month. The company continues to expect adjusted earnings for 2015 in the range of $8.00 - $9.00 per share. Revenues for 2015 are still forecasted in the range of $8.0-9.0 billion. Celgene continues to expect revenues in excess of $12.0 billion for 2017.
Moreover, adjusted earnings per share for 2017 are forecasted in the range of $13.00 - $14.00. The company expects revenues for 2013 to be at or slightly above the $6 billion mark. Celgene forecasts adjusted earnings for 2013 in the range of $5.55–$5.65 per share
Revenues at Celgene are expected to increase at a compounded annual growth rate of 19% from 2013 to 2017. Adjusted earnings are expected to increase at a compounded annual growth rate of 25% from 2013 to 2017.
Solid First Quarter
Last month, Celgene revealed impressive numbers for the first quarter of 2013. The company’s first quarter 2013 earnings (excluding special items but including stock-based compensation expense) of $1.22 per share beat the year-ago earnings by 27.1%. Higher revenues drove earnings in the quarter.
Total revenue climbed 15% to $1.46 billion in the first quarter of 2013. Revenues were boosted by the impressive performance of Celgene’s cancer drugs Revlimid, Abraxane and Vidaza. US sales of Pomalyst, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) in Feb 2013, came in at $22 million in the first quarter of 2013. Pomalyst is used for the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma patients, who have received at least two prior therapies.
Multiple Pipeline Related News Coming up
Celgene boasts an interesting and diversified pipeline. Multiple pipeline-related news are expected in the coming quarters. A key action date is coming up at Celgene next month when the FDA is expected to decide on the company’s application to get Revlimid approved for an additional indication - refractory mantle cell lymphoma.
Moreover, Celgene is highly optimistic on the potential of apremilast, which is being developed for multiple indications. The successful development and commercialization of the pipeline should boost Celgene’s top line further.
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from Celgene, other stocks with favorable Zacks Rank include Athersys, Inc. (ATHX), Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ISIS) and Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CBST). While Athersys carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Isis Pharma and Cubist Pharma carry a Zacks Rank #2.
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