This Analyst Just Doubled His Price Target on Viking Therapeutics (VKTX) Stock; Here’s Why


It’s a very rewarding trading day for investors in Viking Therapeutics (VKTX) with shares up nearly 80%, making the stock Wall Street’s bull of the day. Why the excitement? The drug maker announced positive phase 2 data for VK2809, its novel liver-selective thyroid receptor beta agonist, in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Further data will be released at the annual meeting of American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in November 9-13.

In reaction, Maxim analyst Jason McCarthy boosted his price target on VKTX from $14.00 to $28.00, while reiterating a Buy rating on the stock. (To watch McCarthy’s track record, click here)

McCarthy commented, “The primary endpoint of reduction of LDL-C by 20% was met, but much of the conference call and questions from this morning focused on the liver fat reductions via MRI-PDFF. Overall P values were hit on median fat reduction and percent of patients achieving 30% or greater reduction, the latter being the clinically important threshold for translation into NASH improvements […] We have lowered the risk in the NASH model to 30%, from 50% and extended our model to 2028. Combined with other minor changes in the model, our price target increases to $28.”

“Next step is likely a P2b study in biopsy-proven NASH. The company will meet with regulators to discuss (1H19). The P2 data further supports and validates the potential utility of TRβ agonists in NASH, in our view,” the analyst continued.

VKTX has one of the best ratings by the Street. TipRanks reveals that the stock has a Strong Buy analyst consensus rating with 4 back-to-back buy ratings in the last three months. Meanwhile the average analyst price target of $28 suggests the stock still has upside potential of just over 50% from the current share price for the next 12 months. (See VKTX’s price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks)

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