8:47 am Concert Pharmaceuticals initiated with a Buy at H.C. Wainwright; tgt $20
H.C. Wainwright initiates CNCE with a Buy and price target of $20. Selective deuterium substitution on compounds may allow for enhanced clinical safety and tolerability, allowing the opportunity to compete with non-deuterated drug in existing markets or to expand known activity of approved drugs into new indications. Concert has leveraged its proprietary platform as a source for external partnerships and internal de-risked R&D efforts. In the past five years, Concert has had four validating partnership deals, including the recently announced acquisition of CTP-656, deuterated Kalydeco, by Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX; Neutral rated) that is currently under FTC review before the final close date in October. While firm has little clarity into the review process itself, they believe in the fundamental value of a deuterated potentiator to the many players still eager to assemble the best-in-class triple combo for cystic fibrosis. In spite of the scarcity of near-term data catalysts, they are bullish on the LT potential of CTP-543 in AA, the potential of the partnered AVP-786 for Alzheimer's disease agitation, as well as continued M&A efforts to partner CTP-656 regardless of outcome from Vertex.
8:46 am Portland Gen Elec downgraded to Sell at Williams Capital Group; tgt lowered to $41
Williams Capital Group downgrades POR to Sell from Hold and lowers their tgt to $41 from $44. What appeared to be a strong case for significant growth over the next few years at the company at the beginning of the year has dwindled considerably. The OPUC staff has recommended both a poor outcome from the IRP and a rate cut in the pending base rate case in its initial June 16 testimony. Current consensus expectations do not appear to reflect what is clearly unlikely good results from either the IRP or rate case dockets. Today, the case to be made for Portland General's growth over the next few years appears to be thin. With very limited residential load growth at best, and often declining weather adjusted load with rising operating expenses, EPS growth absent rate case or IRP/RFP successes appears difficult to achieve for Portland General over the near-term.
8:46 am Blue Apron initiated with a Outperform at RBC Capital Mkts; tgt $10
RBC Capital Mkts initiates APRN with a Outperform and price target of $10. Blue Apron is the leading player in the nascent meal-kit delivery market and addressing a large, multi-billion dollar market. Firm believes co's new product and service initiatives enhance its consumer value proposition and will lead to re-accelerating growth in FY18 and a multiple re-rating, which warrants rating.
8:46 am athenaHealth downgraded to Underweight at First Analysis Sec; tgt raised to $125
First Analysis Sec downgrades ATHN to Underweight from Equal-Weight and raises their tgt to $125 from $99. The stock has been buoyed by activist investor Elliott Management taking a sizable position (disclosed in May) and optimism these efforts will yield incremental shareholder value. While firm recognizes the shares are likely to continue trading at levels we believe are ahead of the underlying fundamentals in the short term, they see the risk/reward as unfavorable. ATHN is in the midst of a "metamorphosis" as described by CEO Jonathan Bush and is facing a challenging macro envm't that has yet to find an equilibrium whereby purchase decisions return to a more predictable state.