Thursday, January 04, 2007

Calls of Note Part 4

Merrill Lynch is raising their 12-month price objective for Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) stock to $73 from $59, as they begin working off their 2008 EPS estimate, which they raised modestly to $1.57 from $1.54. Firm expects profits to more than double and margins to expand for Celgene in 2007 as it continues to ramp sales of Revlimid.

Firm expects Celgene to continue ramping Revlimid sales in 2007 for its labeled indications of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and MDS 5Q- and they look for approval in the EU in 1H07. Revlimid was a center of attention at ASH (Amer. Soc. Hematology) in December with continuing positive clinical developments in the treatment of CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) and NHL (non-Hodgkins lymphoma) and the firm expects the company to initiate pivotal trial programs in both during the year. Thalomid sales are also holding up very well.

Assuming some off-label use of Revlimid in relapsed/refractory CLL and ultimately label expansion, they have added modest probability-adjusted sales estimates in that indication beginning in 2008, which raises EPS estimates to $1.57 from $1.54 in 2008, to $2.06 from $1.99 in 2009 and to $2.47 from $2.31 in 2010.

Reits Buy.

Notablecalls: ML isn't the first one to up their tgt to around $70. But I suspect the note will generate some interest despite that.

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