2 Drug Stocks Score Big Trial Wins

Pfizer's eczema drug met its late-stage goals

by Patrick Martin

Published on Sep 27, 2019 at 10:18 AM

Two drug stocks are cheering promising trial data this morning. First up is blue-chip Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), which reported positive results in its late-stage trials of an oral drug for severe eczema. The treatment met the main goal of the study, and the full results will be presented at an upcoming conference next month in Madrid.

Pfizer stock is flat this morning though, trading at $35.78, perhaps offset by news that Albert Bourla will replace the retiring Ian Read as board chair in 2020. PFE is looking to snap a four day losing streak, but has still shed 17% this quarter. A sharp earnings-induced bear gap in late July culminated in an annual low of $33.97 on Aug. 15. And while the shares have bounced from there, they still are staring up at resistance in the form of their 50-day moving average.

Then, there's biotech name Applied Genetic Technologies Corp (NASDAQ:AGTC), up 3% to trade at $4.12 this morning. This comes after promising data in an early-stage study on a treatment for eye disease, of which showed improvement in vision function in 50% of patients. The drug name also released third-quarter results after the close last night -- a wider-than-expected loss -- which, analysts seem to be pushing aside.

Analysts have been quick to react. BMO upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "market perform," while hiking its price target to $9 from $5. H.C. Wainwright and Wedbush issued price-target hikes of their own, to $18 and $12, respectively. The former noted this could be the start of the stock's turnaround.

AGTC is on track for its fifth straight win and best day since Sept. 6. The shares are set to topple their 320-day moving average for the first time on a closing basis since late April. Year-to-date, the security is now up 67%. 


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