Analysts Offer Insights on Healthcare Companies: Aptose Biosciences (APTO) and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)


Analysts have been eager to weigh in on the Healthcare sector with new ratings on Aptose Biosciences (APTO) and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG).

Aptose Biosciences (APTO)

Aptose Biosciences received a Buy rating and a $6 price target from Oppenheimer analyst Matthew Biegler on January 24. The company’s shares closed on Friday at $2.07, close to its 52-week low of $1.78.

Biegler commented:

“We initiate coverage of Outperform rating and $6 PT based on the commercial potential of CG-806 in two major heme/onc indications. We believe that CG-806 can selectively disable key signaling pathways that cancer cells need without the safety baggage usually associated with multi-kinase inhibitors. CG-806 potently blocks FLT3 and BTK, two validated heme/onc targets, which could translate to clinical activity in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), respectively. As such, we view CG-806 as two potent drugs rolled into one. Against primary AML samples, CG-806 outperformed all other FLT3 inhibitors and stunted growth of ibrutinib-refractory CLL samples. We would be buyers of APTO ahead of CG-806’s expected 1H19 entry into the clinic.”

Aptose Biosciences has an analyst consensus of Strong Buy, with a price target consensus of $6.75.

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Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)

BTIG analyst Sean Lavin maintained a Hold rating on Intuitive Surgical on January 24. The company’s shares closed on Friday at $515.04.

Lavin noted:

“With revenue and procedure metrics preannounced earlier this month, we were listening closely for Intuitive’s plans for operating expenses in 2019. We thought that operating spend might increase mid-teens (we modeled ~15%) over 2018 levels. Management surprised us by pointing to a planned 20-28% y/y increase in opex for 2019. This comes on top of higher-than- expected opex in Q4. This increase is unprecedented and while we understand the motivations (China joint venture, investments in infrastructure, informatics, employee talent, and new launches), our forecasted assumptions don’t point to a similar level of revenue growth over the next couple of years. With any opportunity for leverage taken off the table for the year, investors may be a tad disappointed.”

According to TipRanks.com, Lavin is a 5-star analyst with an average return of 9.7% and a 58.4% success rate. Lavin covers the Healthcare sector, focusing on stocks such as Establishment Labs Holdings Inc, Helius Medical Technologies, and Tactile Systems Technology.

Currently, the analyst consensus on Intuitive Surgical is a Moderate Buy with an average price target of $575.56.

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