Top 5 Biotech Stocks To Buy For 2014

Although business headlines still tout earnings numbers, many investors have moved past net earnings as a measure of a company’s economic output. That’s because earnings are very often less trustworthy than cash flow, since earnings are more open to manipulation based on dubious judgment calls.

Earnings’ unreliability is one of the reasons Foolish investors often flip straight past the income statement to check the cash flow statement. In general, by taking a close look at the cash moving in and out of the business, you can better understand whether the last batch of earnings brought money into the company, or merely disguised a cash gusher with a pretty headline.

Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Vishay Precision Group (NYSE: VPG  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

Top 5 Biotech Stocks To Buy For 2014: Prosensa Holding NV (RNA)

Prosensa Holding N.V., formerly Prosensa Holding B.V., is a biotechnology company engaged in the discovery and development of ribonucleic acid-modulating (RNA)-modulating, therapeutics for the treatment of genetic disorders. The Company’s primary focus is on rare neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders with a large unmet medical need, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy and Huntington’s disease. The Company’s clinical portfolio of RNA-based product candidates is focused on the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The Company’s platform technology allows the development of RNA-modulating therapeutics that either interferes with splicing (exon skipping, exon inclusion, or splice mutation correction), remove mutant RNA, or block RNA expression, for different indications.

DMD is a rare, severe muscle wasting disease that occurs in up to 1 in 3,500 male births. It is commonly diagnosed between the ages of three to five , when boys begin to show signs of impaired motor development. PRO044, the Company’s product candidate, addresses a separate sub-population of DMD patients. The Company developed PRO044 using its exon-skipping technology to generate a product candidate with the same mechanism of action that is used by drisapersen.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Prosensa Holding NV (NASDAQ: RNA) soared 25.89% to $8.51 in the pre-market trading after the company reported 48-week data from Phase 2 placebo-controlled study of drisapersen in 51 DMD boys.

  • [By Leo Sun]

    However, these three biotech stocks — Amarin (NASDAQ: AMRN  ) , Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN  ) , Prosensa (NASDAQ: RNA  ) — don’t fit that category at all. Read on to understand why these dogs of the sector should never be mistaken as underdogs.

Top 5 Biotech Stocks To Buy For 2014: Durata Therapeutics Inc (DRTX)

Durata Therapeutics, Inc., incorporated on November 4, 2009, is a pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutics for patients with infectious diseases and acute illnesses. The Company enroll and dose patients in two global Phase III clinical trials with its product candidate, dalbavancin, for the treatment of patients with acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (abSSSI). Dalbavancin is an intravenous antibiotic product candidate designed for once-weekly dosing. In addition to abSSSI, the Company focuses on the development of dalbavancin for additional indications, including osteomyelitis, diabetic foot infection and pneumonia.

As of December 31, 2011, Dalbavancin had already completed three Phase III clinical trials, in which more than 1,000 patients in total received dalbavancin. Dalbavancin achieved its primary efficacy endpoint of non-inferiority in each of these three completed Phase III clinical trials when compared to linezolid, cefazolin or vancomycin, three of the standard-of-care agents for uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections (uSSSI), and complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI). Its two ongoing Phase III clinical trials are designed to compare dalbavancin to vancomycin, with an option to switch to oral linezolid, under the new FDA draft guidance.

The Company competes with Pfizer, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Theravance, Inc., Forest Laboratories, Inc., Sanofi-Aventis Ltd., The Medicines Company, Trius Therapeutics, Inc., Cempra, Inc., Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Nabriva Therapeutics AG, Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Durata Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DRTX) shares climbed 5.30% to $14.18. The volume of Durata Therapeutics shares traded was 861% higher than normal. The FDA Advisory Committee unanimously recommended the approval of Durata’s Dalvance.

  • [By Bob’s Stocks]

    Durata Therapeutics (DRTX) is developing Dalbavancin, a once a week, intravenous antibiotic product candidate, for the treatment of patients with acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections, or ABSSSI. The company is expected to file a NDA (New Drug Application) at any moment and MAA (Marketing Authorization Application) at the end of 2013.

Top 5 Biotech Stocks To Buy For 2014: Exelixis Inc.(EXEL)

Exelixis, Inc., a biotechnology company, develops small molecule therapies for the treatment of cancer. It focuses on developing Cabozantinib, an inhibitor of tumor growth, metastasis, and angiogenesis that target MET, VEGFR2, and RET, which are key kinases involved in the development and progression of various cancers. The cabozantinib is in Phase III clinical trial for the treatment for medullary thyroid cancer. The company also engages in various clinical programs for cabozantinib focused on the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, renal cell carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer, hepatocellular cancer, and melanoma. In addition, Exelixis, Inc. involves in developing a portfolio of other novel compounds to address serious unmet medical needs through collaborations with various pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, sanofi-aventis, Genentech, Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim Gm bH, and GlaxoSmithKline and Daiichi Sankyo Company Limited. Its products under development through collaborations include XL475, XL281, XL139, and XL413 inhibitors; ROR antagonists; therapies targeted against LXR, a nuclear hormone receptor implicated in various cardiovascular and metabolic disorders; XL147, XL765, and isoform-selective PI3K inhibitors; XL518, a small-molecule inhibitor of MEK; sphingosine-1-phosphate type 1 receptor; XL880 inhibitor; and therapies targeted against the mineralocorticoid receptor, a nuclear hormone receptor implicated in various cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. The company was formerly known as Exelixis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and changed its name to Exelixis, Inc. in February 2000. Exelixis, Inc. was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Kell var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); popups.forEach(func]

    Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Wednesday’s session are American Apparel Inc.(APP), Exelixis Inc.(EXEL) and Francesca’s Holdings Corp.(FRAN)

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Shares of Exelixis (NASDAQ: EXEL) were down 37.89 percent to $4.00 after the company issued an update on ongoing COMET-1 phase 3 pivotal trial in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Stifel Nicolaus lowered the price target on the stock from $11.00 to $9.00.

Top 5 Biotech Stocks To Buy For 2014: Amgen Inc.(AMGN)

Amgen Inc., a biotechnology medicines company, discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets human therapeutics based on advances in cellular and molecular biology for grievous illnesses primarily in the United States, Europe, and Canada. The company markets recombinant protein therapeutics in supportive cancer care, nephrology, and inflammation. Its principal products include Aranesp and EPOGEN erythropoietic-stimulating agents that stimulate the production of red blood cells; Neulasta and NEUPOGEN to stimulate the production of neutrophils, which is a type of white blood cell that helps the body to fight infections; and Enbrel, an inhibitor of tumor necrosis factor that plays a role in the body?s response to inflammatory diseases. The company also markets other products comprising Sensipar/Mimpara, a small molecule calcimimetic that lowers serum calcium levels; Vectibix, a monoclonal antibody that binds specifically to the epidermal growth factor receptor; and Nplate, a thrombopoietin (TPO) receptor agonist that mimics endogenous TPO, the primary driver of platelet production. In addition, it provides Denosumab, a human monoclonal antibody that targets RANKL, an essential regulator of osteoclasts. Further, the company offers product candidates in mid-to-late stage development in a variety of therapeutic areas, including oncology, hematology, inflammation, bone, nephrology, cardiovascular, and general medicine consisting of neurology. It markets its products to healthcare providers, including physicians or their clinics, dialysis centers, hospitals, and pharmacies; consumers; and wholesale distributors of pharmaceutical products. The company has various collaborative arrangements with Pfizer Inc.; GlaxoSmithKline plc; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited; Array BioPharma Inc.; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co. Ltd.; and Cytokinetics, Inc. Amgen Inc. was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Lower cholesterol means a higher price for Amgen’s (AMGN) stock–but could be bad news for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN).

    Shares of Amgen have gained 2% to $122.95 today after the biotech giant said that a trial showed it’s cholesterol drug works better than a placebo. Reuters has the details:

    Amgen Inc’s drug from a high profile new class of experimental medicines lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol by 55 percent to 66 percent compared with a placebo in a trio of late-stage clinical trials, according to data presented on Saturday.

    Amgen had previously said the drug, evolocumab, met the main goals of five late-stage trials involving some 4,000 patients by significantly outperforming placebo or another cholesterol medicine in a variety of patient populations.

    Morgan Stanley’s Matthew Harrison and David Friedman note that the minimal number of “neurocognitive events” was good news for Amgen:

    Lack of neurocognitives could offer some relief, but overall data as expected. We would expect a modest uptick in A[Amgen] given the very clean data. That said, we believe the key debate continues to be around the long-term market size (which depends on CV outcomes) for which we do not have an answer. We found the data in HeFH and statin intolerant patients to be the most compelling given the high baseline LDL-C (~195mg/dL). We believe this population (~500k-1M) will see the most use prior to outcomes data given the higher unmet need.

    Credit Suisse analyst Jason Kantor and team call the results good news for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals version of the drug, but not necessarily its stock:

    Data from [Amgen’s] evolocumab program substantially derisks the anti-PCSK9 drug class, demonstrating consistent efficacy and safety across multiple Phase III trials. Provided [Regeneron] shows similar results (highly likely), competition is likely to focus on dosing strategy, while the ultimat

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    That would be Amgen (AMGN), which fell 1.4% today,  Biogen Idec (BIIB), which dropped 5.1%, Celgene (CELG), which declined 2.1%, Gilead Sciences (GILD), which dropped 4%, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN), which fell 3.8%, and Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN), which finished off 1.1%.

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Little TNI Biotech Inc. (OTCMKTS:TNIB) just gave bigger immunology players like Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) or CEL-SCI Corporation (NYSEMKT:CVM) a new reason to worry. Though CVM and AMGN aren’t exactly sweating bullets yet, TNIB has taken not a big step forward in terms biotechnological progress, but rather, has widened its net with a lateral expansion.

Top 5 Biotech Stocks To Buy For 2014: Nektar Therapeutics(NKTR)

Nektar Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, engages in developing a pipeline of drug candidates that utilize its PEGylation and polymer conjugate technology platforms. The company?s product pipeline consists of drug candidates across various therapeutic areas, including oncology, pain, anti-infectives, anti-viral, and immunology. Its research and development activities involve small molecule drugs, peptides, and other potential biologic drug candidates. The company?s proprietary drug candidates in clinical development comprise NKTR-118, a peripheral opioid antagonist, which has completed Phase II clinical trail for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation; BAY41-6551 that has completed Phase II clinical trail to treat gram-negative pneumonias; NKTR-102, a topoisomerase I inhibitor-polymer conjugate, which is in Phase II clinical trail for multiple cancer indications, including breast, ovarian, and colorectal; and NKTR-105 that is in Phase I clinica l trail to treat solid tumors. Its preclinical products consists of NKTR-119 (Opioid/NKTR-118 combinations) for the treatment of pain; NKTR-181 (abuse deterrent, tamper-resistant opioid) to treat pain; NKTR-194 (non-scheduled opioid) for the treatment of mild to moderate pain; NKTR-171 (tricyclic antidepressant) to treat neuropathic pain; and NKTR-140 (protease inhibitor candidate) to treat HIV. The company has collaboration with Bayer Healthcare LLC to develop BAY41-6551 (NKTR-061, Amikacin Inhale), which is an inhaled solution of amikacin, an aminoglycoside antibiotic; and a license agreement with AstraZeneca AB for the development and commercialization of Oral NKTR-118 and NKTR-119. In addition, Nektar Therapeutics has various license, manufacturing, and supply agreements for its technology with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, such as Affymax, Amgen, Baxter, Roche, Merck, Pfizer, and UCB Pharma. The company was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in San Fran c isco, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John McCamant]

    Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) is expected to get FDA approval this year for its lead drug naloxegol, a once-a-day pill for opioid-induced constipation (OIC). The drug is licensed to AstraZeneca. NKTR will receive up to $245 million in milestone payments, plus royalties.

  • [By Jay Silverman]

    Jay Silverman: Oh, by the way, if you wanted me to throw a few of those names that might be considered, Novavax would be one of them, and Nektar (NKTR), and the Medicines Company (MDCO) and Pharmacyclics, which has been a great stock, but has come under pressure of late.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    This is particularly intriguing now both to Allergan, which purchased MAP Pharmaceuticals earlier this year for $958 million, and to Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR  ) , which would gain royalties from the sale of Levadex due to its intellectual property contribution to the making of the drug.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    Levadex’s approval or rejection could also mean a good or bad day for Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR  ) , which looks to gain from royalty rights based on its contributions to Levadex’s development. While impossible to predict, I’m going to go out on a limb and project an approval for Allergan.