Healthcare Review: Regeneron, Illumina, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Galena Biopharma, Intuitive Surgical Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 13:56
Stocks climbed on Wall Street Tuesday, rebounding after their biggest drop in two months a day earlier. The gains were led by the technology sector. If the Dow Jones industrial average ends the day higher, it will be only its third gain of the year. The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 13 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,833 as of 12:10 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 72 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16,331. The Nasdaq composite rose 50 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,164.

Roth Capital is out with a bullish note on Regeneron ($REGN) on the heels of the company's announcement of a new development agreement with Bayer. Here's analyst Joseph Pantginis, commenting: "Preclinical studies have suggested that blocking both PDGFR-beta and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) can provide additional benefit over anti-VEGF treatment (such as EYLEA) alone in wet AMD." Buy rating maintained. Price target is $362.In other company news, REGN has announced a collaboration with Geisinger Health System under which the companies will "study the genetic determinants of human disease." Additionally, Sanofi (SNY) has amended its investor agreement with REGN and retains the right to "acquire up to 30% of REGN's outstanding common stock and Class A stock [while gaining] the right to nominate a single independent director to the Regeneron Board of Directors upon reaching 20% ownership [stake]."

Shares of Illumina ($ILMN) are trading higher on the day. The company is out with preliminary financial results for Q4: Revenue is seen at $387M versus consensus of $369.5M.As for non-GAAP earnings, the company says it expects results to come in "slightly above the top end of the guidance range provided in Q3."FY14 outlook: Non-GAAP EPS of $2-2.06 (versus consensus of $2.05) on top-line growth of ~15-17%.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals ($ICPT) is trading sharply lower again today, and is now down some 43% from Friday's intraday high. Perhaps helping to tip sentiment today is SA contributor Dr. Paul Nunzio DeSantis, whose article, while not necessarily bearish, strikes a cautious tone. "Ultimately, OCA should receive FDA approval. However, my bearish tone stems from the likelihood that it will take significantly longer than investors currently anticipate and may not meet physician expectations of reversing or stopping fibrosis," DeSantis says.

"Galena Biopharma ($GALE) continues to transform itself before our eyes," Roth Capital's Joseph Pantginis says, praising the company's partnership with Dr. Reddy's. GALE is now "a leading cancer immunotherapy company with NeuVax and FBP vaccines [and] also as a revenue generating company with Abstral for breakthrough cancer pain and likely GALE-401 in 2017," Pantginis adds. Buy rating maintained. Price target hiked to $12 from $11.

Intuitive Surgical ($ISRG) is out with preliminary Q4 and FY13 results.Q4: Revenue seen at $576M (-5% Y/Y), consensus is $548.6M; instruments and accessories revenue, $268M (+6% Y/Y); da Vinci Surgical Systems revenue seen at $205M (-23% Y/Y); systems sold, 138 versus 175 in Q4 2012.FY13: Revenue seen at ~$2.265B (+4% Y/Y), consensus is $2.24B; instruments and accessories revenue, $1.033B (+14% Y/Y); da Vinci Surgical Systems revenue see at $835M (-11%), systems sold, 546 versus 620 in 2012.

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