When it comes to stocks that can shoot up overnight, biotechs are the name of the game. This group’s extreme volatility lies in the fact that a single piece of good news like promising study results can cause share prices to climb to new heights, while the reverse also holds true.
As a result, it’s often difficult to determine if names in this industry represent compelling investments. That being said, there are tools available that can help gauge which biotech stocks are poised for substantial long-term growth.
Using TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy tool, we were able to zero in on 3 biotech stocks that have achieved a “Perfect 10” Smart Score. The metric weighs a variety of factors and combines them into a single numerical score, with 10 being the highest. Not to mention each has earned a ‘Strong Buy’ consensus rating, according to all of the ratings published by analysts in the last three months.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN)
Alexion wants to improve the lives of patients suffering from rare diseases such as atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), hypophosphatasia (HPP) and other conditions. While best known for its Soliris therapy to treat aHUS, a disease that causes abnormal blood clots to form in small blood vessels in the kidneys, the company has recently expanded its pipeline and has several candidates in development.
In its most recent quarter, ALXN highlighted its deals with Eidos, Stealth and Achillion as part of its efforts to diversify its offerings. It also expects to add four new clinical stage assets, including two in Phase 3 development. Bearing this in mind, management raised its total revenue guidance to between $4.86 billion to $4.89 billion. If achieved, this would demonstrate an 18% year-over-year gain at the midpoint of the range.
With all of these promising developments, it’s no wonder that nine analysts have published bullish calls in just the last ten days. One of the analysts singing ALXN’s praises is Citigroup’s Mohit Bansal. He argues that the biotech is a growth stock trading like a value stock. He adds that the “strong” revenue guidance and recently expanded pipeline may be of interest to incremental investors. As a result, Bansal reiterated his Buy rating.
The rest of the Street appears to echo the analyst’s sentiment. In just the last three months, ALXN has received 16 Buy ratings and 2 Holds, giving it a ‘Strong Buy’ analyst consensus. Its $155 average price target suggests 48% upside potential.
Immunomedics uses antibody-based therapies to develop treatments for cancer, autoimmune and other diseases. With the company recently launching studies back in April and May, buzz surrounding this biotech has been building.
The company recently announced the launch of its registrational Phase 3 study for patients with hormone receptor-positive (HR+)/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2–) metastatic breast cancer. The study of its IMMU-132 drug will feature patients that have experienced failure of at least two but no more than four prior chemotherapy regimens for metastatic disease. IMMU also launched a Phase 2 open label study of its sacituzumab govitecan therapy to treat advanced solid tumors.
On top of these trials, the biotech is recruiting for a Phase 2 trial of sacituzumab govitecan for patients with metastatic (Stage IV) urothelial cancer after failure of a platinum-based regimen and/or anti-PD-1/PD-L1 based therapies. While investors will have to wait for the results from the trials, Piper Jaffray analyst Joseph Catanzaro sees significant upside in store for IMMU.
“We believe Immunomedics is very well-positioned within triple-negative breast cancer and urothelial bladder cancer,” he commented. Based on all of the above factors, the analyst reiterated his Buy rating and $20 price target. This price target conveys his confidence in IMMU’s ability to surge 23% over the next twelve months.
With only Buy ratings assigned in the last three months, the word on the Street is clear: IMMU is a ‘Strong Buy’. Additionally, it boasts 58% upside potential thanks to its $26 average price target.
Coherus Biosciences (CHRS)
By developing biosimilar treatments, Coherus hopes to give patients access to more affordable drugs. A biosimilar drug is a medicine or therapy that is very similar to an already approved biological medicine. While it may seem counterintuitive to develop a drug that resembles something already on the market, they are beneficial in that they provide more treatment options and potentially reduce costs.
Following the January 3 launch of its UDENYCA drug to decrease the occurrence of infection in patients receiving anti-cancer drugs, the company has been performing solidly. CHRS saw its UDENYCA net sales reach about $120 million in the first half of 2019. Management stated that this figure was bolstered by strong exit unit market share of 13% at the end of June.
All of this led to a 125% increase in net product revenue from the first quarter to the second. With the company developing a therapy similar to Amgen’s Enbrel drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis, some analysts tell investors CHRS is primed for strong long-term growth.
Barclays’ Balaji Prasad is one of the analysts maintaining a bullish thesis. While stating that shares experienced some weakness following AMGN’s favorable Enbrel patent ruling against Novartis, he remains very optimistic. He views any share weakness as an opportunity to add a "fundamentally sound company”. This played into his decision to reiterate his Buy rating and $31 price target.
Similarly, other analysts take a bullish approach when it comes to CHRS. It earns a ‘Strong Buy’ Street consensus based on the 6 Buy ratings assigned over the last three months. The biotech stock’s potential twelve-month gain also comes in at 91% according to its $32 average price target.