NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Gilead Sciences (GILD) - Get Gilead Sciences Inc. Report stock is climbing by 2.06% to $93.20 in afternoon trading on Monday, as the biopharmaceutical company's dominance of the hepatitis C market hasn't been impacted by the launch of a less expensive hepatitis C medication by Merck (MRK), according to Leerink.
Despite the introduction of Merck's Zepatier hepatitis C medication, which launched at a 40% discount to Gilead's Harvoni, Gilead's hepatitis C direct-acting antivirals continue to "dominate the market, with modest share gains for rivals," the firm wrote in a note, Barron's reports.
Gilead's Harvoni and Sovaldi "retain a relatively favorable" position in 65% of the top 20 largest commercial plans and 70% of the top 10 largest government plans, according to Leerink.
This compares to 20% and 30%, respectively, for AbbVie's (ABBV) Viekira Pak and 0% and 10%, respectively, for Zepatier, the firm noted, Barron's adds.
Gilead's hepatitis C franchise generated $19 billion in sales last year.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of B.
Gilead's strengths such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: GILD
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