Healthcare Review: Ariad Pharmaceuticals, ERBA Diagnostics, NeoStem, Molina Healthcare, Oramed Pharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Thursday, 02 January 2014 14:02
U.S. stocks fell on their first day of trading in 2014 as investors booked profits in the wake of the S&P 500's best yearly advance since 1997. Shares of Apple Inc fell 1.3 percent to $555.59, leading a decline in technology stocks, after Wells Fargo cut its rating on the iPad and iPhone maker to "market perform" from "outperform". Apple was the biggest drag on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes. The S&P technology index fell 1 percent, the biggest decliner among the 10 major S&P sectors. Among the stocks that fell the most Thursday were those that had enjoyed the best gains in 2013, including Netflix, which was down 1.6 percent at $362.45, and Micron Tech Inc, which was off 0.9 percent at $21.56.

Shares of Ariad Pharmaceuticals ($ARIA) are up handsomely on the day. Earlier, the company said it will present at the 32nd Annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco later this month.CEO Harvey Berger will reportedly "provide an overview of the company's business." Investors are of course focused on any commentary about Iclusig's return to market.

Shares of ERBA Diagnostics ($ERB) are up sharply for a second consecutive session. The gains follow the publication (late Monday afternoon) of a bullish piece from SA contributor Charles Fox."The prospect of discovering a stock with an extremely low float, strong fundamentals, and virtually zero followers is almost equivalent to finding a brown paper bag filled with money on the side of the road," Fox noted, before predicting that ERB might be just such a stock.

Moving sharply higher on the day are shares of NeoStem ($NBS). Helping the cause is Aegis' Ram Selvaraju who is "enthused about the completion of enrollment [in PreSERVE], given the lengthy period of time that this trial has taken to accrue the requisite number of patients."The analyst remains "confident that the AMR-001 Phase 2 study has a high likelihood of success."Price target hiked to $23 (from $21). For what it's worth, that represents upside of 240% from Tuesday's close.

Wedbush adds Molina Healthcare ($MOH) to its Best Ideas List."The CA margin guarantee should cover $2.2B of the $6.8B in new contract revenue growth from 2013-2015 at a margin 300bps+ above normal Y1 margins and should cover 75% of all CA revenue, which is 24% of all premiums," analyst Sarah James notes. James also says the company is diversifying its revenue and "has improved claims processing and actuarial benches."Outperform rating maintained.

Oramed Pharmaceuticals ($ORMP) rises 5% after the company says it has received a new patent in both Israel and Australia covering "a core concept of [its] technology for the oral delivery of drugs and vaccines currently delivered via injection."

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