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New Gilead Sciences CEO Has 'Breadth Of Experience' From Time At Roche, Says Bullish Raymond James

New Gilead Sciences CEO Has 'Breadth Of Experience' From Time At Roche, Says Bullish Raymond James

Research-based biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) announced Monday it has named Daniel O'Day as its chairman of the board and CEO, effective March 1.

What Happened

O'Day joins Gilead after more than three decades of experience at Roche Holdings AG Basel ADR (OTC: RHHBY) with a focus on diagnostics, Raymond James' Steve Seedhouse said in a note.

The executive has seen or was personally involved in multiple high-profile diagnostics or personalized medicine acquisitions at Roche, the analyst said. While it's unlikely O'Day will "abandon" his prior experience in diagnostics, his appointment is probably not a signal that Gilead is seeking to transform itself into a pure diagnostics company, he said.

Raymond James maintains a Strong Buy rating on Gilead's stock with an unchanged $94 price target.

Why It's Important

Many investors expressed a concern to Raymond James that Gilead is "not hat interesting" to invest in, Seedhouse said.

It appeared that Gilead is content in growing its HIV business by single digits while building out a CAR-T business and merely "hoping" its NASH and gilgotinib pipeline will become growth drivers, he said. That reputation could change for the better given O'Day's experience and expectations for the incoming CEO to be open to "consider any acquisition or company evolution, however large or small," according to Raymond James.

What's Next

Under new leadership, Gilead will be run with the "breadth of experience" that could only be possible by poaching talent from a top-tier company like Roche, the analyst said.

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Latest Ratings for GILD

Nov 2019Initiates Coverage OnHold
Oct 2019MaintainsOutperform
Oct 2019DowngradesBuyHold

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