Why Novartis (NVS) Stock Is Higher Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Novartis AG  (NVS) are up 4.24% to $85.06 as the company plans to seek approval of a medicine for chronic heart failure sooner than it had anticipated.

The drugmaker announced today that "the Data Monitoring Committee unanimously recommended early closure of the PARADIGM-HF study, indicating patients with chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HF-REF) who received LCZ696 lived longer without being hospitalized for heart failure than those who received standard care with ACE-inhibitor enalapril."

"Based on the compelling efficacy and primary endpoint having been met, the trial will now close early," its statement continued. "This follows two previous interim analyses that showed the safety profile of LCZ696 was acceptable." 

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A Barclays analyst estimated that LCZ696 has the potential to earn at least $1 billion in peak annual sales, Bloomberg reported.

Novartis plans to introduce additional new cardiac medicines. However, last week a U.S. advisory panel recommended against approval of the company's serelaxin, another experimental heart-failure drug.

TheStreet Ratings team rates NOVARTIS AG as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate NOVARTIS AG (NVS) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

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