Market Overview

Best Biotech Stocks of 2011

Here's a quick look at nine of the best-performing biotech stocks of the past year.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACHN) is up almost 88% year to date and about 37% higher just in the past month. This Connecticut-based biopharmaceutical company has three drugs in clinical trials to treat hepatitis C and has been discussed as a takeover target. Its market cap is $543.3 million and the mean price target is 28.0% higher than the current share price. Year to date, the stock has outperformed competitors such as Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX).

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA) is up about 130% year to date, despite being down about 13% from the 52-week high in July. The Massachusetts-based company recently announced an offering of 22.5 million shares. Ariad has a market cap of $1.5 billion and its long-term EPS growth forecast is 25.0%. Eleven of 13 analysts recommend buying the stock, which has outperformed Novartis (NYSE: NVS) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) since the beginning of the year.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IDIX) is up about 53% year to date but is about 9% below the recent 52-week high. The stock has recovered from a recent sell-off following rival Pharmasset's (NASDAQ: VRUS) announcement that it was dropping a planned hepatitis C drug. Idenix's market cap is $820.1 million and its long-term EPS growth forecast is 29.0%. The stock has outperformed competitors Pharmasset and Vertex Pharmaceuticals year to date.

ImmunoGen (NASDAQ: IMGN) is up about 31% year to date but also more than 25% below the 52-week high it reached in July. Just before the holiday, the cancer treatment developer announced a drug development deal with Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY). ImmunoGen's market cap is $927.9 million and the mean price target is more than 24% higher than the current price. The stock has outperformed Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) and Seattle Genetics (NYSE: SGEN) since the beginning of the year.

Inhibitex (NASDAQ: INHX) shares are trading more than 300% higher year to date. Most of that increase came in November after news that its hepatitis C therapy INX-189 performed well in mid-stage trials with no serious side effects. The biopharmaceutical company has a market cap of $830.7 million and it has been the subject of buyout rumors. Year to date, the stock has outperformed competitor Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) as well as the broader markets.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: JAZZ) is up about 99% since the beginning of the year, despite being more than 9% lower than a month ago. Earlier this month, shareholders approved the acquisition of privately held Azur Pharmaceuticals. Jazz has a market cap of $1.6 billion, a long-range EPS growth forecast of 29.4% and a mean price target that is 22.9% higher than the current share price. Year to date, the stock has outperformed Eli Lilly and Pfizer.

Medivation (NASDAQ: MDVN) is up more than 200% year to date. Most of that increase came in November after the company announced encouraging late-stage trial results for its prostate cancer drug candidate MDV3100. This biopharmaceutical company's market cap is $1.6 billion. Nine of 13 analysts rate the stock a Strong Buy. Year to date, the stock has outperformed competitors such as Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ).

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SPPI) shares are selling about 115% higher year to date and are up more than 87% just in the past quarter. The Nevada-based company posted record results in October, helped by brisk sales of its Fusilev, a drug used to combat the side effects of chemotherapy. The market cap is $847.9 million. The return on equity is 37.6% and the operating margin is 30.0%. The stock has outperformed Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) year to date.

ViroPharma (NASDAQ: VPHM) shares are trading more than 50% higher than 90 days ago, up more than 60% year to date. Regulators recently approved a new label for its antibiotic Vancocin, which should keep generic versions of the drug off the market for three years. ViroPharma's market cap is $1.9 billion and its long-term EPS growth forecast is 12.3%. Year to date, the stock has outperformed competitors such as Optimer Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: OPTR).

Posted-In: Achillion Pharmaceuticals amgen ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Azur Pharmaceuticals biogen idecLong Ideas Short Ideas Trading Ideas

 

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