Although the broader markets barely moved for the last week of the third quarter with the S&P 500 up around 0.14% and the Dow Jones 0.26% in green, shares of five companies, Ophthotech Corp (NASDAQ:OPHT), Emergent Biosolutions Inc (NYSE:EBS), Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (NASDAQ:CTSH), TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:AMTD), and First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), registered more significant moves.
In this article, we will recap some of the events that caused each stock to move this week and take a look at the recent rating updates regarding them. In addition, we are going to assess the hedge fund sentiment towards the companies in question.
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Ophthotech Corp (NASDAQ:OPHT) shares fell by more than one-fifth this week, mainly on Friday, when its peer Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) reported disappointing results from a Phase 2 study of the combination of aflibercept and rinucumab versus the control of aflibercept for the potential treatment of wet AMD. Given that Ophthotech’s lead product candidate, Fovista, is also a potential treatment for wet AMD (and also shares some other similarities), some shareholders headed for the exits on the news. Cowen analyst Tyler Buren thinks the market is somewhat right, as he lowered his price target to $60 per share from $80 per share, noting that Regeneron’s data is negative for all anti-PDGF drug candidates. In light of the new data, the analyst thinks the probability of success for Ophthotech’s own wet AMD treatment is now around 50%. Nevertheless, if significant benefit is reported from the results of a Phase 3 trial due out in December, Buren thinks the upside is still $80-$120 per share. David Greenspan‘s Slate Path Capital owned 430,000 shares of Ophthotech Corp (NASDAQ:OPHT) at the end of June.
Emergent Biosolutions Inc (NYSE:EBS) rallied by 11% from Monday through Friday, with most gains registered on the last day of the week when it announced that the CDC had exercised an option to procure all of the remaining BioThrax doses under an expiring contract, and when it announced the news that BARDA had awarded the company a total contract opportunity of up to $1.6 billion for anthrax countermeasures. Following the news, David Maris of Wells Fargo said that the BARDA contract win was ‘very positive news’ as it shows that the U.S. government is still committed to the biodefense of any anthrax scenarios. Maris thinks the FDA could give the thumbs up to Emergent’s NuThrax as soon as 2018 under the agency’s Emergency Use Authorization designation. Wells Fargo has a $40-$42 price target and an ‘Outperform’ rating on the stock. Out of the 749 top funds that we track, 17 of them were long Emergent Biosolutions Inc (NYSE:EBS) at the end of the second quarter, unchanged from the previous quarter.
On the next page, we examine what analysts had to say about Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, TD Ameritrade Holding Corp, and First Solar Inc.