4 Hot Analyst Reads For Thursday, July 5th

A synopsis of recent analyst activity that could buoy these small cap biotech stocks in trading today

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Here are four small cap stocks seeing notable analyst commentary just before we open up trading here this Thursday.

Let's start with oncology mid-cap Exelixis (EXEL) which is off a third from 52-week highs. Oppenheimer reissues their Buy rating and $40 price target on the stock. Oppenheimer's analyst cites an upcoming potential catalyst that might get the shares moving again in her commentary

“The CELESTIAL data for Cabometyx in hepatocellar carcinoma (HCC) were first presented in October 2017, as top-line results, and in detail in mid-January 2018. We anticipate Cabometyx will be approved for use in HCC by early January 2019. We believe the publication of these results in the prestigious Medicine will further increase the visibility of these data, and could lead to more rapid adoption of Cabometyx in this setting, once it is approved.”

B Riley FBR also reiterates their Buy rating and $200 price target on Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY) before the bell this morning. Riley's analyst notes "The papers in the New England Journal of Medicine reinforce the superior profile for patisiran in hereditary transthyretin-mediated".

We will see if this gets the stock moving upward again. The stock has been in a narrow trading band since giving up a third of its value in mid-March.

Late Thursday, JMP Securities reaffirmed its positive view on Nuvectra (NVTR) late Tuesday. That stock fell some 15% in trading Monday on regulatory updates. However, JMP's analyst states he 'still believes FDA approval for Virtis remains intact for the second half of 2018. The new questions from the FDA appear "relatively benign" and having the pre-PMA audit completed with no observations is a positive event'. It should be noted though JMP's price target of $18 is right where the shares are currently trading.

Finally, Anavex Life Sciences (AVXL) saw some positive action before the holiday. This Alzheimers focused concern was reissued as a Buy both at Maxim Group ($7 price target) and H.C. Wainwright ($10 price target). Here is Wainwright's commentary

"We value Anavex on the potential of 2-73 in Alzheimer’s disease, Rett syndrome and PDD. We use a probability adjusted revenue projection for our therapeutic models. In AD, we use just 30%, as the current data set while encouraging is small.”

The company did get the green light Tuesday from Australian regulators to launch a Phase 2b/3 clinical trial assessing ANAVEX 2-73 in patients with early-stage Alzheimer's disease. However, Alzheimers has been the 'black hole' of R&D efforts to date across the industry. I would thread lightly even as whoever manages to find a treatment or cure will print money as this disease is one of most costly for society.

And those are four small cap concerns seeing recent analyst activity here this Thursday. Happy Hunting.

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