Analysts Weigh In on Two Healthcare Stocks: Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD), Palatin Technologies, Inc. (PTN)

Analysts are weighing in on the biotechnology giant Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) and pharmaceutical company Palatin Technologies, Inc. (NYSEMKT:PTN), with positive ratings.

Gilead Sciences, Inc.

William Blair’s healthcare analyst John Sonnier weighed in with a favorable report on Gilead Sciences, after the company announced positive clinical data featuring the company’s next-generation, pan-genotypic combination regimen of sofosbuvir and velpatasvir. The analyst reiterated an Outperform rating on Gilead shares, without providing a price target.

Sonnier wrote, “In our view, sofosbuvir/velpatasvir demonstrated significant cure rates across genotypes with 12 weeks of treatment […] We believe the robust pan-genotypic profile eliminates the need for concomitant administration of ribavirin, which is associated with severe side effects such as anemia.”

Furthermore, “We believe the clinical profile of sofosbuvir/velpatasvir bodes well for Gilead to further penetrate ex-U.S. markets, where non-genotype 1 HCV is more prevalent. In Japan and Italy, genotype 2 accounts for 29% and 27%, respectively, of the entire HCV market, and in other European markets, genotype 3 prevalence ranges from 20% in France and Spain to 40% in the United Kingdom. It is our view that sofosbuvir/velpatasvir is in an excellent position to increase Gilead’s market penetration in non-genotype 1 patient populations.”

Bottom line: “We believe that Gilead has extensive expertise in drug discovery, development, and commercialization. The company has also been extremely active relative to its peers in strategic development. We see strong growth potential driven by greater confidence in HIV market growth, the potential of the HCV and oncology franchises, and accretive revenues from new products, such as Letairis, Ranexa, and other late-stage products. Based on our favorable outlook for the company, we believe Gilead will outperform the market in the near term.”

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst John Sonnier has a total average return of 25.8% and a 65.1% success rate. Sonnier has a21.9% average return when recommending GILD, and is ranked #155 out of 3768 analysts.

Out of the 21 analysts polled by TipRanks, 18 rate Gilead Sciences stock a Buy, 2 rate the stock a Hold and 1 recommends to Sell. With a return potential of 22%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $127.06.

Palatin Technologies, Inc.

Roth Capital analyst Joseph Pantginis reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Palatin Technologies, with a $4 price target, after the company released its F2015 earnings, posting EPS of ($0.15) compared to Pantginis’ estimate of ($0.08) and consensus of ($0.11). The company also announced the termination of its EU licensing agreement with Gedeon Richter for bremelanotide, a first-in-class melanocortin agonist, in the treatment of premenopausal female sexual arousal disorder.

Pantginis wrote, “While we expect potential downward pressure on the stock due to the rights being returned, we believe this has nothing to do with BMT or the market itself but rather this has to do with Gedeon Richter’s own business issues, particularly significantly depressed sales in Ukraine. Furthermore, time to market for BMT is ~four years in the E.U. which would have required substantial investment on Gedeon Richter’s part, and we believe this would be an additional burden alongside its current struggles.”

“We believe this could be an opportunity for PTN to bring in a stronger E.U. partner as U.S. partnering discussions continue. We believe that PTN is well positioned with recent developments in the field, namely flibanserin’s FDA approval and Sprout’s $1 billion acquisition by Valeant. As we previously highlighted, Addyi’s approval has set the regulatory framework for approval in FSD. Moreover, while flibanserin’s approval was met with enthusiasm by physicians and patients alike, it was clouded by the black box warning on the label,” the analyst continued.

According to, analyst Joseph Pantginis has a total average return of 0.3% and a 40.8% success rate. Pantginis has a -6.9% average return when recommending PTN, and is ranked #1988 out of 3768 analysts.

All the 4 analysts polled by TipRanks rate Palatin stock a Buy. With a return potential of 578%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $6.

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