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Today’s Top Biotech Stories: The Medicines Company, DaVita HealthCare Partners, and Incyte

By Leo Sun – Feb 12, 2014 at 8:45AM

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The Medicines Company, DaVita HealthCare Partners, and Incyte could all loom large in health care headlines this morning. Here’s why.

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

Good morning, fellow Foolish investors! Let's take a look at three health care stocks -- The Medicines Company (MDCO), DaVita HealthCare Partners (DVA 2.25%), and Incyte (INCY 0.64%) -- which could all loom large in health care headlines this morning.

The Medicines Company is halted ahead of an FDA advisory meeting
First and foremost, trading in The Medicines Company, a pharmaceutical company primarily known for three critical care products -- Angiomax, Cleviprex, and a ready-to-use formulation of Argatroban -- will be halted this morning. NASDAQ halted trading in the stock ahead of an FDA Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee (CRDAC) meeting this morning discussing its new drug application (NDA) for injected cangrelor, an intravenous blood clot preventer.

The Medicines Company is pursuing an approval of cangrelor to reduce thrombotic cardiovascular events (including stent thrombosis) in patients with coronary artery disease undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The meeting is scheduled to start at 7:30 A.M. ET.

Cangrelor is a key drug to The Medicines Company, since analysts believe that the drug could generate peak sales of $400 million by 2019. While not a blockbuster, it could be a huge boost for the company, which only reported $558.6 million in revenue in fiscal 2012, and $502.9 million in revenue in the first three quarters of 2013. Expectations appear to be quite high for cangrelor's eventual approval, since the stock now trades at 55 times trailing earnings. However, the stock has only risen 8% over the past 12 months.

DaVita rallies on strong fourth quarter and full year earnings
Meanwhile, DaVita HealthCare Partners, one of the largest kidney care service providers in the United States, may open higher this morning after reporting strong fourth quarter and full year earnings. For the fourth quarter, DaVita's adjusted income rose 18% year-over-year to $0.99 per share, as revenue climbed 24% to $3.06 billion. For the full year, adjusted income rose 22% to $3.81 per share as revenue rose 44% to $11.76 billion. Full-year adjusted earnings per share rose 5.5% to $2.89 per share.

Shares of DaVita and Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS), the two largest dialysis providers in the United States, have steadily recovered since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would only reduce payments to dialysis providers by less than 1% over the next two years, a far more conservative reduction than the 9.3% reduction that had been proposed in July. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway notably increased its position in DaVita by 23.5% last November prior to the CMS decision.

DaVita's fiscal 2013 revenue was boosted by its $4.42 billion acquisition of HealthCare Partners, the largest U.S. operator of physician groups and networks, in May 2012. DaVita also notably announced a $389 million settlement of criminal and civil anti-kickback investigations, along with plans to end joint ventures with kidney doctors in 28 implicated dialysis clinics.

Incyte's product revenue soars 73% in fiscal 2013
Last but not least, Incyte, the company best known for the myelofibrosis treatment Jakafi/Jakavi, just reported its fourth quarter and full year earnings this morning. For the fourth quarter, Incyte reported a net loss of $0.26 per share, down from a profit of $0.14 per share in the prior year quarter. For the full year, Incyte reported a net loss of $0.34 per share, representing flat growth from the prior year quarter.

Net product revenue rose 68% year-over-year to $72.9 million in the fourth quarter and climbed 73% to $235.4 million for the year. Increased product royalties from sales of Jakavi outside the United States by the company's partner, Novartis, significantly contributed to Incyte's top line. Full-year royalty payments from the deal rose from $3.7 to $28.3 million. Jakafi is marketed by Incyte in the United States and overseas by Novartis.

Overall milestone payments, however, decreased from $156.9 million to $91.0 million for the full year, mainly due to a $50.0 million milestone payment in the prior year from Eli Lilly for baricitinib, a potential treatment for rheumatoid arthritis based on the same JAK inhibitors used in Jakafi.

Looking forward to 2014, Incyte expects net product revenue from Jakafi sales to rise to $315 million to $335 million, representing year-over-year growth expectations between 34% and 42%. Another positive catalyst on the horizon is upcoming data from a phase 3 clinical trial of Jakafi in advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Leo Sun has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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Stocks Mentioned

Incyte Stock Quote
$78.26 (0.64%) $0.50
The Medicines Company Stock Quote
The Medicines Company
DaVita Stock Quote
$73.92 (2.25%) $1.63

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