As the earnings season kicks off for the biotechnology sector, William Blair analyst John Sonnier outlined updated earnings per share (EPS) estimates for Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), increasing his Q1 EPS estimate to $2.24 from $2.21. Full-year EPS projections were increased to $8.09 from $7.96 in 2017, to $7.03 from $6.76 in 2018, and to $6.52 from $6.10 in 2019.
Sonnier wrote, “We are adjusting our projections for both newer TAF-based HIV regimens (Genvoya, Odefsey, and Descovy) and older HIV regimens (Stribild, Complera/Eviplera, and Truvada), based on prescription trends during the first quarter. Specifically, we continue to observe a strong utility in Truvada in the prophylaxis setting, where Descovy has not yet been approved. We are also reducing our estimates for Atripla given Gilead’s recent de-emphasis of the product. Over the longer term, we anticipate generic Viread-containing regimens to affect Gilead’s HIV franchise starting later this year in Europe and in 2018 in the United States. However, the impact will likely be partly offset by the introduction of TAF-based Vemlidy. The overall impact on the revenue of Gilead’s HIV franchise is a slight decrease to $3.02 billion from $3.03 billion in the first quarter, and full year 2017 sales are adjusted upward to $12.29 billion from $12.25 billion. Our 2018 and 2019 HIV sales projections remain unchanged.”
With respect to the HCV franchise, the analyst is betting on a modest increase to $2.61 billion from $2.59 billion in the first quarter, and full-year revenues are adjusted upward slightly to $8.65 billion from $8.62 billion in 2017, while his 2018 and 2019 sales projections remain unchanged.
As such, with Gilead preparing to release first-quarter earnings on May 2, Sonnier reiterates an Outperform rating on the stock.
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst John Sonnier has a yearly average return of 17.1% and a 52.2% success rate. Sonnier has a 1.5% average return when recommending GILD, and is ranked #431 out of 4557 analysts.
Out of the 26 analysts polled in the past 12 months, 14 rate Gilead stock a Buy, while 12 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 25%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $83.11.