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Bank of America downgraded Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) Monday from Buy to Underperform and cut its price target from $130 to $87.

The downgrade follows news of AbbVie Inc’s (NYSE: ABBV) deal with Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX) for hepatitis C treatments.

Analysts led by Ying Huang commented, “Express Scripts announced that starting January 1, 2015, it will not pay for GILD's Harvoni and Sovaldi for genotype 1 hepatitis C (HCV) patients covered under the Express Scripts National Preferred Formulary, which affects ~25 million people.

“While this only affects 7-8 percent of the overall population, we believe it has significant implications for GILD as it sets precedent for other payers and raises uncertainties on the overall size of the HCV market.”

Huang noted that with “additional competitors entering the market in 2016, we believe there is only one direction for pricing to go. We continue to respect GILD as an R&D organization and believe Harvoni is a superior therapy. However, the prospect of weak pricing does not render GILD an attractive investment at this time.”

“Sovaldi is sold at a list price of $84,000 in the US and between $51,000 and $66,000 in EU. We suspect ABBV may be discounting as much as 30-35 percent from its list price. In addition, ABBV has agreed not to charge twice as much if patients require 24 weeks of Viekira therapy,” according to the analyst note.

Huang concluded, “In our view, this could be the start of a pricing war and does not bode well for the overall HCV market.”

Gilead Sciences recently traded at $93.55, down 13.8 percent.

Latest Ratings for GILD

Nov 2017ArgusDowngradesBuyHold
Oct 2017BMO CapitalMaintainsOutperform
Oct 2017Leerink SwannMaintainsMarket Perform

View More Analyst Ratings for GILD
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Bank of America Ying HuangAnalyst Color Downgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings


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