Market Overview

Sympathy Move: Portola Upgraded After Competitor Reports Sour Data

Sympathy Move: Portola Upgraded After Competitor Reports Sour Data
Related PTLA
50 Biggest Movers From Monday
The Week Ahead In Biotech: Conferences, PDUFA Dates And Clinical Trials

Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: PTLA), a biotech focusing on thrombosis, other hematological disorders and inflammation, received a one-notch upgrade from Credit Suisse. 

The Analyst

Analyst Vamil Divan upgraded Portola from Underperform to Neutral and raised the price target from $28 to $34.

The Thesis

At the European Society of Cardiology meeting, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Bayer AG (ADR) (OTC: BAYRY) reported disappointing data for Xarelto, an oral anticoagulant medication tested in an acute medically ill population, Divan said in a Sunday note. (See the analyst's track record here.) 

The negative data from the MARINER study derisks Portola's Bevyxxa by putting out a potentially strong rival in the post-hospital discharge market for the foreseeable future, the analyst said. 

Portola may now have to build the market on its own without any assistance from Johnson & Johnson, Divan said. The adoption rate is likely to be slow, he said. 

Even after according Bevyxxa a 100-percent share, Credit Suisse trimmed its peak sales estimate for Bevyxxa from $550 million to $400 million, citing slower market penetration.

"We still await better commercial execution from the Portola team but are comfortable moving to a Neutral rating and a $34 target price," Divan said. 

Credit Suisse sees further longer-term potential upside if Bevyxxa and Andexxa achieve the level of commercial success the sell-side firm previously believed was possible.

Credit Suisse maintained its 2018 loss per share estimates for Portola and widened its loss estimate for 2019 and 2020.

The Price Action

Portola shares were down 2 percent at $27.60 at the time of publication Monday. 

Related Links:

Attention Biotech Investors: Mark Your Calendar For These August PDUFA Dates

The Week Ahead In Biotech: Conferences, PDUFA Dates And Clinical Trial Results

Latest Ratings for PTLA

Nov 2018Credit SuisseMaintainsNeutralNeutral
Oct 2018Morgan StanleyMaintainsEqual-WeightEqual-Weight
Aug 2018Credit SuisseUpgradesUnderperformNeutral

View More Analyst Ratings for PTLA
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Credit Suisse Vamil DivanAnalyst Color Biotech Upgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings General Best of Benzinga


Related Articles (JNJ + BAYRY)

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

Latest Ratings

CNPRBC CapitalUpgrades34.0
View the Latest Analytics Ratings
Don't Miss Out!
Join Our Newsletter
Subscribe to:
Market in 5 Minutes
Everything you need to know about the market - quick & easy.
Daily Analyst Rating
A summary of each day’s top rating changes from sell-side analysts on the street.
Fintech Focus
Your weekly roundup of hot topics in the exciting world of fintech.
Thank You
for registering for Benzinga’s newsletters and alerts.
• The Daily Analysts Ratings email will be received daily between 7am and 10am.
• The Market in 5 Minutes email will be received daily between 7am and 8am.
• The Fintech Focus email will be received every Friday between 2pm and 5pm.

GBP/USD Not Out Of The Woods Just Yet — Confluence Detector

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; American Woodmark Profit Beats Expectations