2 Growth Stocks You Need to Know About

Biotech companies with newly approved drugs can offer investors nearly unprecedented levels of growth in terms of earnings per share. Here are two biotechs with pending regulatory approvals worth watching.

May 27, 2014 at 6:30PM

Biotech companies in the throes of transitioning from a development to a commercial operation can offer nearly unprecedented levels of growth for your portfolio. That being said, not all biotechs are created equal, with some containing potential landmines in their commercialization efforts. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at two biotechs projected to grow their EPS by over 200% next year, namely Cubist Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CBST) and NPS Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:NPSP)

Cubist could rebound in a big way next year
Shares of antibiotic drugmaker Cubist Pharmaceuticals have had a rough quarter, falling over 18%. Perhaps Cubist's decline is a sign of the times in biotech, as this drop has occurred in spite of double-digit growth in revenue and a near tripling in diluted EPS year over year. 

CBST Chart

CBST data by YCharts.

Even so, you might want to look past this recent decline and consider the company's strong growth prospects moving forward. Right now, investors are keying in on the forthcoming regulatory decision for Cubist's Sivextro as a potential treatment for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections. If approved, the Street is expecting EPS to grow by over 250% again next year, although competition from Durata Therapeutics(NASDAQ:DRTX) rival product that was approved last week may have a negative impact of Sivextro sales. With a decision on Sivextro expected soon, you may want to put this mid-cap biotech on your watchlist. 

NPS Pharmaceuticals could see mind-boggling growth in 2015
If everything goes according to plan for NPS this year, the company could see EPS at least double yet again in 2015. Although NPS shares have already risen over 75% in the past year, the rapidly growing sales of its treatment for Short Bowel Syndrome called Gattex and continued strength in terms of its licensing revenue have been the underlying causes of this notable share price appreciation. In short, NPS' growth story seems to be driven mostly by improving fundamentals, not speculation over clinical candidates. 

NPSP Chart

NPSP data by YCharts.

Looking ahead, investors will be closely watching the upcoming Advisory Panel for NPS' orphan drug Natpara, indicated as a potential treatment for hypoparathyroidism, a rare condition that makes it difficult to break down calcium. Presently, the company is slated to go before the Advisory Panel on July 24, followed by a target review date of October 24. If Natpara gets the green light, there's a good chance EPS could triple next year, making it a key event to pay attention to moving forward. 

Foolish wrap-up
Picking individual growth stocks in the health care sector can be a monumentally difficult task. After all, it's fairly commonplace for the market to overreact to pending regulatory approvals, pushing a company's forward price-to-earnings ratio into territories unwarranted by the initial launch of a new drug. 

I believe the recent sector-wide pullback, however, has created some compelling buying opportunities for investors looking for growth over the long term. In my view, Cubist and NPS are intriguing candidates as growth stocks because both companies have a recent history of stellar top- and bottom-line growth. And with each company facing regulatory approvals for major clinical candidates, we could see this growth trajectory get a major boost in 2015. That being said, the FDA is impossible to predict when it comes to regulatory approvals. So while these compelling growth stories are certainly worth watching, you may want to wait until the final regulatory risks have been removed before jumping in with both feet.   

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George Budwell has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Cubist Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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