By Senad Karaahmetovic
Barclays analysts downgraded shares of Amgen (NASDAQ:) to Underweight from Equal Weight with a price target of $234 per share.
With Amgen shares up over 20% in October, the analysts see risk-reward tilted to the downside, given the high expectations into the AMG133 (early-stage obesity asset) update, which should occur during the AHA analyst call on November 7.
The event is seen as a “higher impact catalyst,” given that AMG133 “faces high hurdles on efficacy and tolerability (with limited data shared to date) and Amgen faces questions on speed of development path and ability to compete with entrenched competition.”
As a result, the analysts see Amgen shares under pressure bearing in mind the recent gains.
Conversely, the analysts upgraded Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:) to Equal Weight with a price target of $76 per share, up from $60.
“Given the lack of a relevant catalyzing event on the horizon with meaningful downside, coupled with the company’s solid execution commercially, it was clear that GILD no longer warranted our UW rating – a position we should have moved off of earlier,” the analysts wrote in a separate note.
Amgen and Gilead shares are down 2.3% and 0.7%, respectively.