By Ben Levisohn
[The] Nasdaq Biotech Index index has outperformed the broader market eight out of 10 times over the summer period (Memorial Day to Labor Day) and in 2Q/3Q, there are a number of meaningful catalysts, especially in larger cap biotech for Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), Amgen (AMGN), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN), Biogen, Gilead Sciences (GILD) and Alexion. We think the tone in the group has turned back to a bullish outlook, though the ASCO meeting (May 29-June 2) can create shorter-term volatility. With the innovation wave in SMid cap picking up momentum and with an event-rich summer for large caps, we remain positive on the biotech group overall…
While we see scenarios for upside value across multiple companies we highlight Biogen and Alexion as having particularly favorable risk / reward profiles based on very defensible core businesses and very good pipeline / launch upside, while we do not view the potential upside for Celgene (CELG), Vertex or Amgen as compelling at this time.
Shares of Biogen have dropped 0.4% to $399.50, while Alexion has gained 2.1% to $%172.02, Amgen has advanced 0.2% to $164.19, Celgene has ticked up 0.2% to $116.44, and Regeneron is off 0.2% to $515.24.