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Human Genome Sciences(HGSI)
Stock return since Jan. 1: 48%
Dendreon(DNDN) can turn around its reimbursement mess with Provenge, Human Genome can do the same with the lupus drug Benlysta. That's the essence of the Human Genome bull story, which has pushed the company's valuation back above $2 billion by a comfortable margin.
Dendreon has done a good job of getting Provenge back on course, or at least demonstrating some early evidence of a rebound with strong fourth-quarter 2011 sales. But has Human Genome done anything to suggest it can do the same with Benlysta? Not yet. Not even close. The company whiffed in the fourth quarter and analyst estimates for 2012 are still too high based on current prescription trends. Benlysta sales will improve (the drug's performance can hardly get worse) but Human Genome has a very long way to go before Benlysta sales reach a point where a $2 billion-plus valuation makes sense.
Human Genome shares closed Tuesday down 5% to $10.19.