Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Durect Corp. (NASDAQ: DRRX), Alpharma (NYSE: ALO), Journal Communications, Inc. (NYSE: JRN), Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG).
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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:
Buy Durect Shares Up to $5
Durect Corp. (NASDAQ: DRRX) utilizes 6 proprietary drug delivery technologies to develop pharmaceutical systems that enhance treatment capabilities in the areas of chronic pain, cardiovascular diseases and central nervous system disorders. The company received disappointing news when its lead pipeline candidate, Remoxy, failed to receive FDA approval in December 2008.
While this news is a setback for the company, we believe that the product will ultimately receive approval and should see significant demand due to its ability to reduce the potential of drug abuse / misuse. Meanwhile, we remain optimistic on the remaining candidates in Durect's pipeline which consists of three candidates in phase II development.
Moreover, we were pleased to hear about Durect's partnership deal with King (Alpharma [NYSE: ALO]) for Eladur. In our opinion, the current share price represents an attractive entry point. We thus rate the shares a Buy with a price target of $5.
Journal Comms Cuts Dividend
Journal Communications, Inc. (NYSE: JRN) reported 4Q08 financial results that were in line with the company’s guidance provided in December with its announcement of November revenues. As the economy sinks, the fall in revenues is accelerating, some of which may be lost forever to other forms of media.
To reflect this permanent impairment, the company wrote-off nearly all of its goodwill. The company cannot cut costs and capital spending fast enough to keep pace with falling revenue, and announced a 75% cut in its dividend.
Alexion a One-Drug Wonder
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) reported 4th quarter financial results yesterday.
Soliris sales came in at $77.4 million, up 128.6% year over year, and 8.7% sequentially. However, 4th quarter sales of Soliris were $3.6 million short of our estimate of $81 million.
The company achieved profitability in a 3rd quarter in a row based on strong Soliris sales. Adjusted net income was $15.3 million, with diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.17. Excluding share based expenses, Alexion achieved a net income of $21.1 million, or EPS of $0.23 in 4Q08. However, 4th quarter net income and EPS were less than our estimate of $16.9 million and $0.19 per share.
Another problem which Alexion is struggling with at the moment is the lack of any visible pipeline products. The company suffered a major blow when Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) terminated the commercialization and development agreement for the company’s phase III candidate, Pexelizumab, in 2007.
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