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BLUE

bluebird bio

$65.24

-0.31 (-0.47%)

10:43
10/14/16
10/14
10:43
10/14/16
10:43

Battleground: Analysts diverge on bluebird bio after investor day

Shares of bluebird bio (BLUE) are sliding after Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Elemer Piros downgraded the stock to Sell, citing a lack of catalysts in the near-term as he thinks initial data on improved transduction efficiency in beta-thalassemia and severe sickle cell disease may not become available until 2018. Conversely, his peers at Leerink and SunTrust remain bullish on bluebird bio and the company's outlook. LACK OF CATALYSTS: After attending bluebird's analyst and investor meeting yesterday, October 13, Cantor Fitzgerald's Piros downgraded bluebird bio to Sell from Hold citing a lack of upcoming catalysts, as he does not expect any new data to be announced at this year's American Society of Hematology conference to de-risk the hemoglobinopathy programs. While bluebird bio disclosed that all future LentiGlobin trials in transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia and severe sickle cell disease going forward will use its improved manufacturing process, Piros noted that initial data may not become available until 2018 since those trials are just beginning. Further, the analyst told investors that the lack of catalysts for some time should likely lead to selling pressure on the company's shares. He lowered his price target on the stock to $37 from $42. CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT, REGULATORY PATH DE-RISKED: Conversely, Leerink analyst Michael Schmidt remains bullish on bluebird bio, raising his price target on the shares to $80 from $67 as he sees the clinical development and regulatory path for the company's pipeline products incrementally more de-risked. While development of key product LentiGlobin in transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia and severe sickle cell disease has been more complex than initially anticipated, the analyst believes bluebird bio is well positioned to overcome remaining technical hurdles. Additionally, Schmidt told investors that he expects updates from ongoing LentiGlobin trials at the upcoming ASH conference. He reiterated an Outperform rating on the shares. IMPROVED OUTLOOK: In a note of his own, SunTrust analyst Edward Nash was also upbeat on bluebird bio, saying that a higher transduction efficiency in LentiGlobin should lead to improved clinical benefit and, therefore, allow the company to target the entire transfusion-dependent B-thalassemia population. Moreover, additional protocol amendments for sickle cell disease will likely have a positive impact on the clinical outcome, Nash added. He also pointed out that he believes bluebird bio is on track in pursuing FDA and EMA approvals for LentiGlobin. The analyst reiterated a Buy rating and $115 price target on the shares. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, shares of bluebird bio have dropped 6% to $61.31.

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BLUE bluebird bio
$65.24

-0.31 (-0.47%)

10/14/16
CANT
10/14/16
DOWNGRADE
Target $37
CANT
Sell
Cantor cuts bluebird bio to Sell with $37 price target
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Elemer Piros downgraded bluebird bio to Sell from Hold and dropped his price target for the shares to $37 from $42. The biotech focused on developing gene therapies closed yesterday down 31c to $64.24. The analyst sees a lack of catalysts as he does not expect data to be announced at this year's American Society of Hematology conference to de-risk the hemoglobinopathy programs. Bluebird disclosed yesterday that all future LentiGlobin trials going forward will use its improved manufacturing process, and those trials are just beginning, Piros tells investors in a research note. As such, initial data on improved transduction efficiency may not become available until 2018, the analyst contends. With this year's ASH meeting not a catalyst, Piros expects selling pressure on bluebird shares.
10/14/16
LEER
10/14/16
NO CHANGE
Target $80
LEER
Outperform
bluebird bio price target raised to $80 from $67 at Leerink
Leerink analyst Michael Schmidt raised his price target for bluebird bio to $80 from $67 as he sees the clinical development and regulatory path for the company's pipeline products incrementally more de-risked. While development of key product LentiGlobin in transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia and severe sickle cell disease has been more complex than initially anticipated, the analyst believes bluebird bio is well positioned to overcome remaining technical hurdles. He reiterates an Outperform rating on the shares.
10/14/16
RHCO
10/14/16
NO CHANGE
RHCO
bluebird bio outlook has improved, says SunTrust
SunTrust analyst Edward Nash believes that the improvement in the transduction efficiency of bluebird's LentiGlobin should enable the company "to target the entire transfusion-dependent B-thalassemia population" for the first time. Nash adds that the changes should also improve LentiGlobin's efficacy in sickle cell. He reiterates a $115 price target and Buy rating on the stock.
10/14/16
10/14/16
DOWNGRADE

On The Fly: Top five analyst downgrades
Catch up on today's top five analyst downgrades with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Canaccord with the firm citing the gap between the average free cash flow generation of Shell over the past two decades and the medium-term target. 2. bluebird bio (BLUE) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Cantor with analyst Elemer Piros saying he sees a lack of catalysts as he does not expect data to be announced at this year's American Society of Hematology conference to de-risk the hemoglobinopathy programs. 3. Fluor (FLR) downgraded to Neutral from Accumulate at Seaport Global with analyst Ryan Cassil citing persistently weaker global macroeconomic trends and expectations for a continuation of weaker project activity in 2017. 4. Boston Beer (SAM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Berenberg. 5. Estee Lauder (EL) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray after the firm's semi-annual proprietary "Taking Stock With Teens" survey. This list is just a portion of The Fly's full analyst coverage. To see The Fly's full Street Research coverage, click here.

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