Market Overview

JPM Securities Picks Through Biotech News For Winners


Amid a flood of news from smaller bio-pharmaceutical concerns, analysts at JMP Securities picked through some winners and losers.

The firm's analysts maintained Outperform ratings Wednesday on Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: INFI), Impax Laboratories Inc (NASDAQ: IPXL) and Aratana Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: PETX).

JMP analysts also reiterated Market Perform ratings on Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: PCRX) MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ: MNKD) and Vivus, Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS).

Infinity Pharmaceuticals opened sharply lower Wednesday after reporting fourth-quarter results, but JMP's Michael G. King reiterated a $24 target and Outperform rating.

King likes the company's recently reaffirmed guidance and newly disclosed details on plans for its blood cancer drug duveslisib, which it's developing in partnership with AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV).

Infinity changed hands recently at $14.95, down $0.18, and is off more than 14 percent year-to-date. In January, Infinity posted disappointing results from a Phase II study of duveslisib.

Among analysts following Infinity, seven are at Buy and four at Hold, according to FactSet.

Impax Laboratories fell 2 percent Wednesday to $39.86, after the company delayed its outlook pending completion of its $700 million acquisition of CorePharma LLC.

JMP's Oren G. Livnat said Street expectations for Impax might be a tad high, but he reiterated his Outperform rating.

Livnat boosted his Impax target more than 11 percent to $48, on expectations for both its Parkinson's disease treatment Rytary, approved earlier this year.

Livnat also reiterated a Market Perform rating on Pacira Pharmaceuticals, which gained more than 4 percent Wednesday on guidance that confirmed investors' expectations for its Exparel local anesthetic.

Livnat is optimistic about the outlook for Exparel, but doesn't share "near unanimous confidence of a blockbuster and perpetual growth."

Among Pacira analysts, seven are at Buy and two are at Hold.

MannKind gained more than 2 percent Wednesday after fourth-quarter results and signs of higher-than-expected demand for its soon-to-launch inhalable insulin Afrezza.

But JMP's Jason Butler maintained a Market Perform rating on MannKind and said it's "too early to assess" Afrezza, developed in partnership with Sanofi SA (NYSE: SNY).

Butler also maintained a Market Perform rating on Vivus, which fell more than 10 percent Wednesday on disappointing fourth-quarter results for its anti-obesity drug Qsymia.

Butler cut his estimate of 2015 sales of the drug by 21 percent to $61 million, and said he remains skeptical that Vivus can "resurrect the failed launch" of Qsymia.

Among five Vivus analysts one maintains a Buy rating, three are at Hold and one is at Sell, with an average target of $4.50, according to FactSet.

Veterinary drug maker Aratana Therapeutics is up more than 11 percent to $18.50 since earlier this week when it said it regained rights to a treatment for lymphoma in dogs.

JMP's J.T. Haresco reiterated an Outperform rating and $38 target on Aratana, calling the news a "positive" for Aratana.

Eight analysts are unanimous with Buy recommendations or the equivalent on Aratana, with an average price target of $26.21.

Latest Ratings for INFI

Jan 2019B. Riley FBRInitiates Coverage OnBuy
Nov 2018Wells FargoDowngradesOutperformMarket Perform
Nov 2018JP MorganDowngradesNeutralUnderweight

View More Analyst Ratings for INFI
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: J.T. Haresco JMP SecuritiesAnalyst Color Biotech Price Target Reiteration Analyst Ratings General


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