Analyst Update: Esperion Therapeutics Inc, Zosano Pharma Corp, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Esperion Therapeutics Inc (ESPR), Zosano Pharma Corp (ZSAN), and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY)

by Mark Fightmaster

Published on Sep 29, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Analysts took a trip through the biotech sector this morning, following yesterday's healthcare swoon, issuing opinions on Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR) and Zosano Pharma Corp (NASDAQ:ZSAN), and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY).  Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on ESPR, ZSAN, and BMY.

  • ESPR gapped lower and came within 2 points of an annual low, after the company said the FDA requested additional data on its experimental cholesterol treatment. In the wake of this news, JMP Securities cut ESPR's price target to $113 from $177 (a 25% drop), RBC cut its price target to $105 from $150 (a 30% cut), and UBS slashed its price target to $69 from $133 (a 48% adjustment). Credit Suisse set the bar even lower, cutting its target to $51 from $86 (a 41% drop). As such, Esperion Therapeutics Inc is 43.8% lower at $19.73. Today's brokerage moves could be mirrored by others, as the company has six "buy" or better ratings out of seven total rankings.
  • ZSAN is in the same ballpark as ESPR, dropping 31% to $4.36 (after falling to a record low of $3.43).  Zosano Pharma Corp last night said it is discontinuing development of a once-daily experimental osteoporosis drug, after Japanese regulators requested more data, and is terminating a year-old collaboration with Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY). Roth Capital cut ZSAN's price target to $11 from $20 after the announcement. Technically, the pharmaceutical stock has surrendered close to two-thirds of its value since going public in January -- but the two analysts tracking the firm are not dissuaded, issuing "strong buy" rankings. Meanwhile, the average 12-month price target of $21 stands at a whopping 481% premium to ZSAN's current price.
  • BMY has managed to move higher, adding 3.6% to trade at $59.55, after receiving an upgrade and price-target adjustment from UBS. The brokerage upgraded Bristol-Myers Squibb Co to "buy" from "neutral," and hiked its price target to $75 from $65. Furthermore, the analysts waxed optimistic on BMY's Opvido sales, and said they expect the pharmaceutical sector to bounce in the short term and maintain a long-term leadership role. Technically, shares of BMY are clinging to support at their year-to-date breakeven level, as well as their 20-month trendline. 
For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: McDonald's Corporation, Republic Airways Holdings Inc., and Allergan PLC and Analyst Downgrades: Ambarella Inc, Endo International plc, and Cheniere Energy, Inc.

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