Piper Jaffray Confident On bluebird bio Inc (BLUE) After Hosting Investor Meeting With Management

Yesterday, Piper Jaffray analyst Joshua Schimmer hosted an investor dinner with bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE) management ahead of his healthcare conference. Following the meeting, the analyst remains bullish, singing the biotech firm’s praises with confident assessments from “All systems ready for takeoff” to “This bird’s ready to fly.” As such, the analyst reiterates an Overweight rating on shares of BLUE with a $95 price target, which represents a just under 50% increase from current levels.

Schimmer asserts, “One thing that has consistently impressed us is management’s ability to navigate its gene therapy platform through uncharted waters, including the ability to problem solve and quickly correct course to optimize its platforms. This differentiation gives BLUE an important competitive advantage, we believe. Starting with a BCMA CAR-T data update this week and extending into optimizing LentiGlobin’s profile for sickle cell and betathal in 2017, we now anticipate a steady stream of positive updates and derisking as BLUE regains its mojo and momentum.”

For the analyst, LentiGlobin could be revolutionary for bluebird, as he notes, “We believe BLUE is well on its way to establishing LentiGlobin as a transformational therapy in sickle for patients with severe disease.”

Coming up this week, the firm has plans to present first clinical data from its BCMA-CAR-T (partnered with CELG) for myeloma, which Schimmer sees as indicative of a “strong profile” considering the abstract title begins with “Clinical remissions and limited toxicity.” For now, the analyst remains skeptical as to the extent of the impact coming from the CAR modification. However, Schimmer contends, “Given successes with stem cell transplants in myeloma we suspect the durable effect size will still prove robust.”

As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks, analyst Joshua Schimmer is ranked #4,067 out of 4,239 analysts. Schimmer has a 41% success rate and faces a loss of 5.0% in his annual returns. When recommending BLUE, Schimmer loses 13.8% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics demonstrate BLUE as a Strong Buy. Out of 14 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 12 are bullish on bluebird stock, 1 remains sidelined, and 1 is bearish on the stock. With a return potential of 45%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $92.27.screen-shot-11-29-16-at-06-51-pm

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