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UBS: 6 Specialty Pharma Picks to Watch

Stocks in this article: AGN VRX WCRX ENDP ALKS AUXL

Warner Chilcott (WCRX) is a specialty pharmaceutical company that focuses on development, manufacture, and the promotion of branded products. It has been given a buy rating by UBS Investment Research due to its faith in Warner's management team.

The company's sustainability is currently underappreciated, according to UBS. Greater earnings are also expected due to the presence of a significant operating leverage. Shares of the company are currently trading at $16.2 per share and are expected to reach a price target of $24, indicating a potential upside of 48%. D. E. Shaw had nearly $250 million in WCRX at the end of September.

Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP) operates as a specialty healthcare solutions company in the U.S. It has been given a buy rating by UBS Investment Research due to a sustainable base business. With the approval of a new crush-resistant version, the Opana franchise is expected to be quite sustainable. Endo Pharmaceuticals also recently acquire companies including HealthTronics, Penwest, Qualitest, and American Medical System.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) is a competitor of Endo Pharmaceuticals and it reported a quarterly revenue growth of only 13.2% versus 71% reported by Endo. Endo Pharmaceuticals also reported higher operating and gross margins. Shares of the company are currently trading at $36 per share and are expected to reach a price target of $50, indicating a potential upside of 39%. Ken Griffin initiated a brand new position in ENDP during the third quarter.

Alkermes (ALKS) is an integrated biotechnology company developing medicines that increase patient outcomes. It has been given a buy rating by UBS Investment Research mainly due to the EDT deal, making the company immediately profitable on an adjusted EBITDA basis. The deal also makes Alkermes less dependent on Bydureon; resulting in no downside risk to Risperdal Consta.

UBS believes that Bydureon is likely to get FDA approval, thus becoming an important growth driver for Alkermes. The company has assets in its pipeline which are expected to increase valuation for the company in the medium to long term. Shares of are currently trading at $18 per share and are expected to reach a price target of $21 by the end of 2012. John Burbank's Passport Capital had the largest stake in ALKS among the more than 350 hedge funds we are tracking.

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