To be honest, there's nothing not to like about Gilead Sciences
Revenue was up 40% for 2007, with sales of HIV drug Atripla (partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb
On the pipeline front, last quarter, Gilead announced underwhelming phase 1 data for its hepatitis C antiviral drug candidate GS9190 at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases conference. It has been a tough road for Gilead in the hepatitis C arena. Polymerase inhibitor GS9190 showed mediocre performance, and partner Achillion Pharmaceuticals
The clinical trial pathway for Gilead's anti-HIV integrase inhibitor, Elvitegravir, also got harder following the approval of Merck's
Looking ahead to 2008, Gilead is going to be getting a lot of FDA regulatory news this year. The PDUFA date for its cystic fibrosis drug is Sept. 16, and a regulatory decision from the FDA on the label expansion for HIV therapy Viread into hepatitis B is also expected in the third quarter. On the financial front, Gilead has guided for product sales to be up 26% to 29% in 2008.
Seeing as Gilead is looking more and more like a diversified pharma with a robust clinical-stage pipeline and growing cash flows, the financial community wouldn't start weeping if the company started to use some of its plentiful free cash flow to fund a dividend. An aggressive $1 billion worth of annual cash could fund a 2.4% dividend yield, for example. Other than that, it's hard not to get excited about Gilead from both a valuation and a performance standpoint.
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