For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – July 31, 2013 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses the U.S. Pharma & Biotech, including Johnson & Johnson (JNJ-Free Report), Forest Labs (FRX-Free Report), Biogen (BIIB-Free Report), Amgen (AMGN-Free Report) and Medivation (MDVN-Free Report).
Industry: Pharma & Biotech
While several companies will continue to face challenges like EU austerity measures and genericization, the pharma industry should be out of the worst of the genericization phase from 2013. Many companies which had faced generic headwinds in the last couple of years should see their results improve from 2013. Cost-cutting, downsizing, streamlining of the pipeline, growth in emerging markets and product approvals should support growth.
Among large-cap pharma stocks, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ-Free Report) currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company has performed well in the first half of 2013 and the momentum should continue through the remainder of the year. The company has been trying to offset the declining sales of some of its important products by bringing in new products through in-licensing deals and acquisitions. We believe the diversity and strength of the company’s underlying businesses will continue to provide strong growth in future. The Synthes deal should continue driving results.
Forest Labs (FRX-Free Report), another Zacks Rank #2 stock, is doing well with first quarter fiscal 2014 results beating expectations. The company has launched several new products over the past few quarters and continues to make impressive progress with its pipeline.
In the biotech space, we are positive on Biogen (BIIB-Free Report). Tecfidera, the company’s recently launched oral multiple sclerosis drug, is off to a strong start with launch quarter sales coming in at $192 million (including inventory stocking of $82 million). While Tecfidera has the potential to gain the top spot in the oral multiple sclerosis market, Avonex and Tysabri should continue contributing significantly to sales. Biogen is also progressing with its hemophilia pipeline.
We are also positive on Amgen (AMGN-Free Report). Amgen should be able to deliver on its long-term strategy based on expansion in key markets, launch of new manufacturing technologies, and pipeline development. Enbrel should continue performing well. Amgen’s late-stage pipeline is also moving along. While Amgen is a Zacks Rank #2 stock, Biogen is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Gilead, another Zacks Rank #2 stock, continues to do well in the HIV segment and is also progressing with its HCV pipeline.
Medivation (MDVN-Free Report), a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company, should continue delivering with its prostate cancer therapy, Xtandi, performing well. Based on the data we have seen so far, we believe Xtandi has blockbuster potential. It is currently in several studies including for the pre-chemo setting. Expansion into the pre-chemo setting would be a major positive for Medivation.
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