Analysts Comment on MannKind Corporation (MNKD) and Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (CNAT) Following Conference Call and FDA Fast Track Designation

Healthcare analysts weigh in today on insulin drug maker MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) and biotechnology company Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CNAT). While one analyst is quite bearish on MannKind following yesterday’s conference call, the other is bullish on Conatus after the company received FDA fast track designation.

MannKind Corporation

J.P. Morgan analyst Cory Kasimov weighed in on MannKind after the company hosted a call yesterday evening to discuss recent developments. The analyst rates the stock a Sell, without providing a price target.

Kasimov wrote, “MNKD held a conference call to discuss company developments, many of which were first announced in conjunction with The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in January. Nothing really new or even borderline positive came out of the call, in our view. MNKD reiterated its commitment to Afrezza and developing additional product candidates with the Technosphere platform. There was little in the way of incremental detail, however, and the company was reluctant to comment specifically on its financial situation prior to its pending 4Q call.”

“It was a fairly unusual call overall; mgmt started Q&A by taking email questions from retail investors, the first time we’ve seen that happen. Bottom line, we find it hard to see how MNKD – which at the moment has no sales organization – is likely to succeed with Afrezza after SNY, one of the leading diabetes companies in the world, so badly failed. With a tall task to resuscitate Afrezza and a dismal balance sheet (net debt), we believe MNKD remains in a very tough spot. Accordingly, we stick with our Underweight rating,” the analyst concluded.

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Cory Kasimov has a yearly average return of -20.1% and a 20.2% success rate. Kasimov has a 31.7% average return when recommending MNKD, and is ranked #3600 out of 3612 analysts.

Out of the 6 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 2 rate MannKind stock a Buy, while 4 recommend a Sell. With a return potential of 279%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $3.68.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc

Brean Capital analyst Difei Yang reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals, with a price target of $13, after the company was granted a Fast Track Designation for Emricasan development in NASH induced cirrhosis.

Yang noted, “The designation allows the company to meet with the FDA more frequently to discuss development timelines and guidelines of Emricasan. We believe that the event is incrementally positive, but not groundbreaking. Conatus still remains as one of the leaders in developing late-stage liver disease treatments. Given the strong profile of its lead product candidate, Emricasan, and the comprehensive clinical development plan that provides multiple shots on goal and the company’s low valuation, we reiterate our BUY and $13 TP.”

According to, analyst Difei Yang has a yearly average return of -20.7% and a 19.1% success rate. Yang has a -51.7% average return when recommending CNAT, and is ranked #3588 out of 3612 analysts.

Out of the 7 analysts polled by TipRanks, 6 rate Conatus stock a Buy, while 1 rates the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 470%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $10.67.



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