Piper Jaffray Comments On Gilead Sciences As Express Scripts Picks AbbVie For Hepatitis C Drug

In a research report issued today, Piper Jaffray analyst Joshua Schimmer weighed in with his thoughts on Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), following the news that Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) has selected AbbVie’s (NYSE:ABBV) Viekira as preferred for eligible HCV patients, displacing Harvoni and Sovaldi as of January. The analyst reiterated an Overweight rating on the stock with a price target of $120.

Schimmer noted, “We’ve been asked for our thoughts by a number of investors, and our views generally remain unchanged. We believe the bigger picture on GILD for 2015 is going to be the company’s ability to convince investors in a long-term growth scenario regardless of the HCV dynamics, and that will require commitment to a stronger pipeline through M&A, aggressive share repurchase and possibly initiating a dividend. It is unclear if the company will be able to execute on all three, but we believe two of those will be enough to expand the multiple and enable shares to grind higher.”

The analyst concluded, “While we are optimistic the company will work its magic and pull another rabbit out of its hat, it’s the difficult-to-address uncertainty on strategy which prevents GILD from being a top pick of ours. As such, we’d be buyers on weakness, but we see more attractive ‘growth’ opportunities in large-cap biotech.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Joshua Schimmer has a total average return of 29.9% and a 80.0% success rate. Schimmer has a 22.4% average return when recommending GILD, and is ranked #50 out of 3440 analysts.




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