Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) Remains Top Pick: Piper Jaffray

Yesterday, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) announced it was halting its Phase 2/3 clinical study of GS-5745, an anti-MMP9 antibody designed to treat patients with moderate to severe active ulcerative colitis.

Nonetheless, Piper Jaffray analyst Joshua Schimmer reiterates an Overweight rating on shares of GILD with a $108 price target, which represents a 32% increase from where the stock is currently trading.

From Schimmer’s perspective, this is not such a shocking setback, as the analyst never believed “targeting just one of many MMPs would have much utility, and their role in a complex process such as inflammation always seemed non-essential.” The analyst had not invested analysis into exploring this program in the first place, deeming it merely “speculative” and a “non-core” asset from the beginning.

“We’re not sure what GILD saw in this program in the first place, but as far as we are aware no investor assumed success. If anything, failure is part of our longer term investment thesis, as it will help curtail spending to protect the bottom line while HCV recalibrates, and will bring the company one step closer to hopefully a value-creative M&A transaction as its non-core (ex-HIV/HCV) pipeline runs out of gas. Reiterate OW as our top large cap pick,” Schimmer concludes.

As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks, one-star analyst Joshua Schimmer is ranked #3,228 out of 4,175 analysts. Schimmer has a 47% success rate and faces a loss of 0.7% in his annual returns. When recommending GILD, Schimmer loses 0.5% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit GILD as a Buy. Based on 17 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 10 rate a Buy on GILD, while 7 maintain a Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $105.50, marking a 29% upside from where the shares last closed.screen-shot-09-22-16-at-01-36-pm

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