Today's Top Biotech Stocks: Bristol-Myers Squibb, United Therapeutics and Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Today's top stories in health care and biotech.

Jun 27, 2014 at 9:11AM

LongviewEditor's Note: An earlier version of this article included the ticker VRX with Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Vertex's ticker is VRTX). The Fool regrets the error.

Let's take a look at today's top stories in biotech and health care. Keep an eye out for Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), United Therapeutics (NASDAQ:UTHR) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX).  

Bristol-Myers is a fountain of good news this morning
Shares of Bristol-Myers should move higher today following two pieces of good news on the regulatory front in the EU. First off, the company announced that its pan-genotypic NS5A inhibitor Daklinza received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, or CHMP, of the European Medicines Agency. The drug has been studied as part of an all-oral combo therapy with Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi, where it produced strong efficacy results and a similar safety profile compared to currently approved therapies. 

In a separate announcement, the company said that its oral anticoagulant Eliquis has been recommended for treating deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and in the prevention of recurrent cases. Eliquis is co-owned by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and is expected to compete in a broad market of next generation blood thinners that could see combined sales of $10 billion within the next few years. 

United Therapeutics to buyback $500 million worth of common stock
United Therapeutics could be in for a good day after announcing an additional $500 million worth of share buybacks set to commence on Aug 1 of this year. According to the release, the purchase period will be 1 year in duration. United recently completed a repurchase program where it bought $4.6 million of its own shares, so this new program is a major step up in terms of its buyback program.

United's share price has a tough go of it this year, falling 22% year to date. What's interesting is that this drop has occurred despite rising revenues from key products like Remodulin and Tyvaso. Put simply, today's large share buyback program suggests that the company believes in their growth prospects moving forward and the current share price represents a compelling valuation scenario. So you may want to keep a close watch on this mid-cap drugmaker.  

Vertex moving higher today on label expansion for Kalydeco
Shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals are up nearly 4% in premarket this morning following a positive opinion from the CHMP for Kalydeco as a treatment for people with cystic fibrosis who have one of eight non-G551D gating mutations in the cystic fibrosis, or CF, transmembrane conductance regulator gene.

Put simply, an approval would expand the drug's use to include an additional 8 gating mutations that cause CF. Kalydeco was first approved in 2012 as a treatment for CF in people with the G551D mutation and saw sales of $100 million in the first-quarter of this year for this indication. Given that a major label expansion like this one should translate into higher top-line growth moving forward, I think Vertex is a stock worth putting on your watchlist. 

Leaked: This coming blockbuster will make every biotech jealous
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George Budwell owns shares of Isis Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool recommends Gilead Sciences and Isis Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool owns shares of Gilead Sciences. 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't 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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