2014

Endocyte, Jamba, MedicinesCompany, Bristol-MyersSquibb and Sanofi highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights Endocyte (Nasdaq: ECYT-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Jamba Inc. (Nasdaq: JMBA-Free Report)  as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis onMedicines Company (Nasdaq: MDCO-Free Report), Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY-Free Report) and Sanofi (NYSE: SNY-Free Report).

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Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Biotechnology stocks don't appear to be slowing down their pace at all this year, with the Nasdaq Biotech Index ETF (IBB) making new highs again this week while the S&P gets back to 1820. So it pays to keep digging for biotech gold to find the next Jazz, Furiex or Medivation.

While we missed FURX before they announced positive Phase III clinical trial results for a key digestion drug, and we only caught a piece of the great run in JAZZ, my FTM portfolio is very happy with our returns in MDVN.

My latest pick is Endocyte (Nasdaq: ECYT-Free Report), a $460 million biopharma company engaged in the development of therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. They create novel small molecule drug conjugates (SMDCs) and companion imaging diagnostics for personalized targeted therapies.

The company employs its proprietary targeting technology to develop novel combination therapies that have an effect on cells that express characteristics specific to certain conditions and functions like the folate receptor in cancer cells. The underpinnings of the company's intellectual property come from research conducted at Purdue University, thus their base in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Bear of the Day:

I last profiled Jamba Inc. (Nasdaq: JMBA-Free Report) as the Bear of the Day in early November after they reported a weak 3rd quarter. In January, the stock slipped back to a Zacks #5 Rank so I want to revisit that report because one theme since then could continue to weigh on the company's efforts and its stock price.

That theme is record cold for much of the nation. The company noted weather as an adverse factor for the quarter that ended with the tail end of summer, so I'm wondering if we will hear and see the same in the coming sales report due in early March.

JMBA, through its subsidiary Jamba Juice Company, offers delicious blended beverages, juices, and fruit smoothies. The company reported third-quarter EPS of $0.15 cents missing the consensus of 18 cents by 16.7% and the year-ago quarter's earnings of 21 cents by 28.6%. But it was the forward guidance, as we shall see, that really tasted sour.

Total revenue in the quarter was down 6.3% year over year to $61.4 million owing to the decline in company sales and lower comps. Quarterly revenues were also below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $62 million by nearly 1%.

Additional content:

Medicines Co. Slips Ahead of FDA Panel

The Medicines Company's (Nasdaq: MDCO-Free Report) stock price decreased more that 5% following the release of briefing documents by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ahead of the review by its Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee (CRDAC). The FDA panel is scheduled to review the New Drug Application (NDA) for The Medicines Co.'s cangrelor, an intravenous anticoagulant, on Feb 12, 2014.

The company is looking to get cangrelor approved for the reduction of thrombotic cardiovascular events (including stent thrombosis) in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and in patients requiring bridging from oral antiplatelet therapy to surgery. A response from the FDA on cangrelor's marketing application is expected by Apr 30, 2014.

Reviewer Against Approving Cangrelor

In the briefing document while two of the reviewers recommended the approval of cangrelor, one of the reviewer was of the opinion that the candidate should not be approved and suggested that an additional study be conducted. Issues related to uncertain non-inferiority of cangrelor versus Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY-Free Report) and Sanofi's (NYSE: SNY-Free Report) Plavix (clopidogrel) and ethical misconduct in the CHAMPION trial were raised. We note that the NDA for the candidate was submitted on the basis of encouraging data from four studies – CHAMPION PHOENIX, CHAMPION PLATFORM, CHAMPION PCI, and BRIDGE – which evaluated more than 25,000 patients with CAD.

Our Take

We are disappointed with the issues raised in the FDA's briefing document. We believe that chances of cangrelor gaining an outright approval are low. We also remain concerned about cangrelor's sales potential, on approval, given the stiff competition in the anticoagulant market. The market is also highly genericized.

The Medicines Co. carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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About the Bull and Bear of the Day

Every day, the analysts at Zacks Equity Research select two stocks that are likely to outperform (Bull) or underperform (Bear) the markets over the next 3-6 months.

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Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from Zacks Equity Research about the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.

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Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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