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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Pretium Resources, Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Ventas and Kindred Healthcare

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – December 03, 2013 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Pretium Resources ( PVG- Free Report ), Cadence Pharmaceuticals ( CADX- Free Report ), Ariad Pharmaceuticals ( ARIA- Free Report ), Ventas Inc. ( VTR- Free Report) and Kindred Healthcare Inc. ( KND- Free Report).
Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free .

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

3 Top-Performing Stocks of Last Month
November was another solid month for stocks, continuing the great trend that investors have seen in the market for much of 2013. In fact, the S&P 500 added nearly 3% in the time period and finished the month above the psychologically important 1,800 level for the first time in the key benchmark’s history.

While this sizable gain was pretty good for the broad market, and helped to push the YTD gain up to nearly 23.5% for the S&P 500, a few stocks trounced this performance and put up huge gains in the month of November. In fact, nearly a dozen stocks—that have a market cap of at least $500 million—saw gains in excess of 50% for the trailing four week time frame.

Below, we highlight three such companies which saw astounding gains in November, and could be looking for further gains to close out the year as well:

Pretium Resources ( PVG- Free Report ) - 67.7% gain

Pretium Resources is a small gold mining company focused on a project in Canada. Like most gold mining firms, it has had a terrible 2013 for the most part, though its luck has started to turn around as of late.

This is largely due to a very bullish report on the amount of gold present at the company’s key Brucejack project, which easily exceeded expectations. The firm was looking to obtain roughly 4,000 oz of gold for every 10,000 tonnes of material, but test results so far showed that roughly 4,215 oz was pulled out instead.

This extra 215 oz per 10,000 tones is great news for this small cap miner and suggests that the mine is likely to be more productive than initially thought. As you can imagine, investors were quite pleased with this news and the stock nearly doubled in a single day on the report, going from under $3/share to almost $5.75/share in a single session.

However, prices were sliding for PVG before this, and shares have stayed relatively flat since then (though they are up almost 7% to start December) giving the stock a gain of roughly 68% for the entire month.

The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), and assuming the mine holds up in terms of expected output, it could finish out 2013 strongly as well.

Cadence Pharmaceuticals ( CADX- Free Report ) - 82.2% gain

Biotechnology has been a pretty strong sector this year and small cap CADX has been no exception. However, the bulk of this company’s gains have come in the past four weeks thanks to some very promising news on the legal front.
The firm announced that the U.S. District Court for Delaware has ruled against Exela Pharma Sciences and for CADX in a patent infringement case. This is crucial as the patent infringement lawsuit was for Ofirmev, Cadence Pharma’s only approved product so a loss here would have been devastating for CADX’s bottom line.
So now investors will not have to worry about generic competition on this product in the U.S. or Canada in the short term, allowing Cadence to continue its monopoly on this drug for the key North American market. Shares skyrocketed on the news, adding over 45% in the session, and boosting the company out of the doldrums. Prices continued to rise to close out the month, giving this hot stock a gain of more than 80% to close the time frame.
CADX currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and is in solid company from a Zacks Industry Rank perspective too. Estimates have been mixed for CADX as of late, so it is hard to say if this company can continue its streak in the near term, though the longer term outlook and the solid sector position do help add to the bullish case.
Ariad Pharmaceuticals ( ARIA- Free Report ) - 87.6% gain
Another healthcare stock managed to edge out CADX and take the top spot for November, Ariad. The company, which has a market cap of just under $1 billion, saw a huge gain for the month, though it is still down over 75% YTD.
This short term boost was brought about by a positive ruling from the Committee for Human Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Agency on its key drug, Iclusig. It now appears as though the drug will still be available in the EU thanks to the ruling, helping to gain back some of the huge losses that the company saw following a temporary suspension of the drug’s sales in the U.S. market.
Shares of ARIA jumped by more than 40% on the report, and ended the month in a pretty solid uptrend too, making it one of the best performing stocks of November. However, some caution needs to be applied here, as there are still plenty of worries about this drug going forward, though the EU’s approval is a huge step.
Investors hoping for more gains should also note that the stock has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and it has been seeing solid estimate revision activity as of late. In fact, for the current year, 9 estimates have gone up in the past 30 days compared to just two lower, suggesting that ARIA may finally be out of the doldrums should its key drug continue to pass regulatory hurdles in the coming months.
Ventas Upgraded to Buy

On Nov 30, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ventas Inc. ( VTR- Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). This was based on better-than-expected third-quarter 2013 results, improved operational performance and a raised outlook. Also, strategic portfolio restructuring activity and strong healthcare sector fundamentals were the positives.

Why the Upgrade?

Ventas came up with improved third-quarter 2013 results with normalized funds from operations (:FFO) per share of $1.04, exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.02 by nearly 2% and the year-ago quarter figure by 8.3%. An uptick in net operating income (:NOI) in its private pay seniors housing communities, triple-net lease portfolio and medical office building segment were the major drivers.

In addition, Ventas usually leases its healthcare facilities under "triple net" leases, which insulate the company from short-term market swings, by producing a steady cash flow with escalations, the majority of which are tied to CPI. In relation to this, the lease extension deal inked with its tenant Kindred Healthcare Inc. ( KND- Free Report) on Oct 1, bodes well for Ventas’ long-term growth.

Backed by its solid business model, strategic efforts and accretive acquisitions, Ventas raised its outlook for full-year 2013. Notably, Ventas is expected to benefit from its diversified portfolio, growing healthcare spending and aging population in coming quarters as well.

Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 remained flat at $4.14. On the other hand, for 2014, it increased 0.2% to $4.34, respectively. Alongside, the growth forecast for 2013 and 2014 FFO per share of Ventas is 18.97% and 4.94%, respectively.
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