Biogen Rises on Double Upgrade From Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley also raised Biogen's price target to $357 from $263 per share.
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Shares of Biogen  (BIIB) - Get Report were climbing Monday after the drug maker received a rare double upgrade from analysts at Morgan Stanley who now have an overweight rating on the stock. 

Morgan Stanley analyst Matthew Harrison still sees near-term downside risks from generic competitors to Biogen's Tecfidera multiple sclerosis treatment, but there is upside in the company's experimental Alzherimer's treatment, aducanumab. 

"While we maintain our long-held view that the mixed PhIII data on aducanumab are hypothesis generating, but not sufficient to demonstrate a clear effect of the drug, we will be the first to acknowledge that the FDA review may come down to more than just data," Harrison wrote. 

Harrison also raised the company's price target to $357 from $263 per share. Biogen shares gained 3.7% to $282.50 in afternoon trading Monday .

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to accept the aducanumab filing in early September with regulators expected to have a "neutral to positive reaction" to the treatment candidate. 

Last week, Biogen reported second quarter earnings and revenue that topped estimates while also lifting its full-year earnings outlook. 

The Cambridge, Mass., company reported a 12% increase in non-GAAP diluted earnings, to $10.26 a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting the company to report adjusted earnings of $8.02 per share 

Revenue rose 4% year over year to $3.68 billion. Analysts were looking for revenue of $3.43 billion.

“Our progress with aducanumab exemplifies our broader strategy of building a multifranchise portfolio based on our deep expertise in neuroscience," Chief Executive Michel Vounatsos said in a statement.