The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Genmab, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Orion Marine Group

Jul 09, 2013, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, July 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Genmab (OTC:GNMSF-Free Report), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK-Free Report), Sanofi (NYSE: SNY-Free Report), Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO-Free Report) and Orion Marine Group, Inc (NYSE: ORN-Free Report).


Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Glaxo Initiated Phase III Study

Genmab (OTC:GNMSF-Free Report) recently announced that its partner GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK-Free Report) has initiated a phase III study (n ~ 136) on a subcutaneous formulation of their marketed drug Arzerra (ofatumumab) for an additional indication. The double blind phase III study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of Arzerra in patients suffering from pemphigus vulgaris, a rare skin related autoimmune disorder.

We note that Arzerra was approved in Oct 2009 for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a type of blood cancer, refractory to


's (NYSE:



Free Report

) Campath (alemtuzumab) and Fludara (fludarabine). In the first quarter of 2013, Glaxo reported Arzerra revenues of £21 million, up 67% from the year-ago quarter.

Glaxo and Genmab are looking to expand the label of Arzerra. In May 2013, Glaxo and Genmab announced encouraging top-line data from a phase III study (n = 447) which compared the efficacy of Arzerra as an adjunct to another oncology drug at Glaxo, Leukeran (chlorambucil) in treatment-naive CLL patients versus Leukeran alone.

The study met its primary endpoint of progression free survival (PFS/the time a patient lived without worsening of their disease). Data from the study was assessed by an independent review committee. In the Arzerra + Leukeran arm of the study, median PFS of 22.4 months was observed as compared to 13.1 months in the Leukeran arm.

Glaxo carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We are pleased with Glaxo's label expansion efforts. Moreover, Glaxo boasts of a robust pipeline. A number of pipeline-related news is expected in the coming quarters. Given the declining sales from generic competition, we believe Glaxo's pipeline must deliver. Companies that currently look attractive include Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO-Free Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Orion Marine Upped to Strong Buy

On Jul 6, 2013, we upgraded Orion Marine Group, Inc (NYSE: ORN-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Most earnings estimates have been revised upwards for Orion in recent days. The company has been reporting positive surprises in all the last four quarters with an average estimate of 89.70%. In the last reported quarter the company reported strong earnings, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by more than 40%.

A healthy demand for the company's suite of marine infrastructure solutions has helped boost the revenue. Orion expects this demand to continue going forward, particularly from the private sector as exemplified with a contract award of around $20 million in the Gulf Coast region. The scope of the contract primarily involves constructing and dredging a new ship dock for a private client in the region.

Orion is believed to have one of the strongest lines of dredging equipment in the industry. Some of Orion's main customers include the U.S. Marine Transportation System and the cruise industry. Orion is positive about its dredging activity in 2013, as the expected increases in cargo volume and future demands from larger ships transiting the Panama Canal will require the services of ports along the Gulf Coast and Atlantic seaboard. This requirement will lead to additional dredging services and expanded port infrastructure. Therefore, Orion is continuing to invest heavily in dredging and dredging equipment, which comprised 64.3% of the total property and equipment value in 2012. 

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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