4 Hot Analyst Reads For Monday, August 6th

Bret Jensen

One should always be drunk. That's all that matters...But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.” ― Charles Baudelaire

Here are four small biotech stocks garnering new analyst commentary just before the bell in the first trading session of the week.

William Blair upgradesVital Therapies (VTL) to an Outperform today with a $35 price target. The company has a key Phase 3 readout in September in a study designed to evaluate its Elad System in subjects with severe alcoholic hepatitis. The next highest analyst price target I can find on Vital Therapies is $9 at Raymond James earlier this summer. Blair is definitely the biggest bull in this small cap name at the moment.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) should benefit from Goldman's 180 degree reversal on its view on the shares today. Goldman now says ICPT is a Buy with $157 price target, a huge upgrade from its previous Sell rating and $46 price target. Here is the synopsis of that reversal

'Goldman's analyst says Ocaliva in fatty liver disease nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is the crux of Intercept's value proposition and that he's positive into the Phase 3 Regenerate interim readout in the first half of 2019. The analyst expects Intercept's Ocaliva will achieve one or both of the Phase 3 co-primary endpoints of NASH resolution and fibrosis improvement. He sees share upside of 60%-plus as the first half of 2019 catalyst approaches. Intercept should benefit from Ocaliva's global first-mover advantage in NASH, Richter tells investors in a research note. Goldman estimates peak global sales of NASH drugs to be $3.7B.'

Oppenheimer assigns a new Outperform rating and $13 price target on ADMA Biologics (ADMA) before the bell this morning after meeting with management last week. Here is Oppenheimer's commentary

"Last Thursday we hosted investor meetings with ADMA management in NYC. The discussions increased our confidence that ADMA will be able to achieve its regulatory goals with both RI-002 (BLA re-filing by YE). Moreover, we believe there is a chance that RI-002 could be approved ~one quarter earlier vs. expectations. We reiterate our Outperform rating and $13 PT as ADMA continues to execute on its near-term milestones"

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This small cap concern has had a nice run after the FDA accepted its NDA for Bivigam with an October 25th PDUFA date.

Finally, Wedbush raises its price target to $80 on Ultragenyx (RARE) this morning from its previous target of $71 while maintaining its Buy rating. Wedbush's analyst states "the company reported a solid start to Crysvita sales in the U.S., with rate of adult adoption and reimbursement particularly encouraging for potential growth opportunity" as the key reason from the upward price revision.

And those are four small cap concerns seeing recent analyst activity before the market opens this Monday. Happy Hunting.

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Hot Analyst Reads