Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours.Scaling The Peaks(Biotech stocks hitting 52-week highs on Oct. 29)Cabaletta Bio Inc(NASDAQ:CABA)Edwards Lifesciences Corp(NYSE:EW)ESSA Pharma Inc(NASDAQ:EPIX)GENMAB
The stock market sagged on Tuesday, so in the spirit of looking at the bright side of things, I’ve found a pair of stocks that rose notably despite the general sluggishness.
Both were up substantially on the day, with one even riding far into double-digit territory. Without further ado, here’s a glance at both.
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Since the success ofbiotech stocksdepends hugely on the pipeline of drugs they’re developing, they can really get a lift from positive news about said treatments. And as with stocks in any other sector, they can also rise when they deliver better-than-expected quarterly results.
Well, guess what happened toBiogen(NASDAQ:BIIB)on Tuesday. That’s right, it unveiled strong quarterly figuresandsome potentially excellent news about one of its drugs. No wonder its stock rocketed 26% higher on the day.
The pipeline news is what really got the market excited about the stock. Biogen announced it will seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for aducanumab next spring. This was a very pleasant surprise, asBiogen had halted testing of the Alzheimer’s drugearlier this year following what seemed to be unsuccessful late-stage clinical trials.
Biogen said that it made its decision after it conducted a new analysis of the data from the trials that revealed more favorable results, and held discussions with the FDA. This is a very exciting prospect for the company, as Alzheimer’s remains a daunting challenge for the medical community.
Meanwhile, Biogen drugs already in pharmacies — notably spinal muscular atrophy drug Spinraza — are selling well and providing a nice boost to the company’s Q3 results, which were released early Tuesday.
For the period, revenue rose 5% on a year-over-year basis to $3.6 billion, whilenon-GAAP(adjusted) net profit saw a robust 13% gain to almost $1.7 billion, or $9.17 per share. Both line items compare quite favorably to the average analyst estimates of $3.54 billion on the top line, and $8.28 per share for adjusted net profit.
Tuesday’s news dump provided optimism about both Biogen’s current drugs on the market and the company’s pipeline. But as always, caution is warranted in the biotech sector, where even the most promising drug candidates are not guaranteed to succeed in testing and ultimately win regulatory approval. So for me, particularly after Tuesday’s price spike, Biogen is a wait-and-see stock.
Lyft(NASDAQ:LYFT)didn’t have quite the memorable day enjoyed by Biogen, but investors were still happy with its nearly 7% gain on Tuesday.
The unusual rise in what has otherwise been a fairly disappointing stock since its March IPO was due to comments made by its founders on Tuesday. In a tech industry event in California, Lyft CEO Logan Green and President John Zimmer said that the company will flip to a profit by the close of 2021… at least on an adjusted, pre-tax operating basis.
Since analysts had predicted this ride into the black wouldn’t happen before 2022 — plus the words “Lyft” and “profit” rarely appear in the same sentence — the market got excited about the comments.
Sure, a flip into some —any— kind of profit in the near future would be beneficial for the stock. And that new end-2021 target date seems achievable, givenLyft’s strong and better-than-expected improvementsrecently in total ridership and average revenue per rider. Now that it’s built up a fairly solid core of drivers and passengers, the company is also putting the brakes on certain discounts and incentives, which helps the fundamentals.
I remain skeptical about Lyft as an investment, though. Firstly, pr