Oppenheimer Thinks Portola Pharma’s Stock is Going to Recover

By Jason Carr

Oppenheimer analyst Jay Olson maintained a Buy rating on Portola Pharma (NASDAQ: PTLA) yesterday and set a price target of $60. The company’s shares closed on Friday at $28.17, close to its 52-week low of $24.63.

Olson wrote:

“We attended ESC where results of the MARINER trial of rivaroxaban (JNJ) in medically ill patients missed the primary endpoint (symptomatic VTE & VTE-related death). Secondary endpoints included VTE-related death (HR 0.93 (0.62-1.42)) and symptomatic VTE (HR 0.44 (0.22-0.89)). MARINER patients experienced a lower event rate compared to similar studies including APEX (betrixaban), which may stem from a healthier patient population (younger, shorter hospitalization, more mobile). MARINER safety data included HR=1.88 on major bleeding rates vs. placebo. We see MARINER results as positive for Bevyxxa due to less competition, highlighting the favorable product profile but anticipate additional efforts remaining in order to gain access and drive demand; raising PTLA SG&A and lowering our PT to $60 from $70.”

According to TipRanks.com, Olson is a 1-star analyst with an average return of -0.8% and a 44.3% success rate. Olson covers the Healthcare sector, focusing on stocks such as Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Inc, Eiger Biopharmaceuticals, and Conatus Pharmaceuticals.

Portola Pharma has an analyst consensus of Strong Buy, with a price target consensus of $48.50.

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Based on Portola Pharma’s latest earnings release for the quarter ending June 30, the company reported a quarterly GAAP net loss of $106 million. In comparison, last year the company had a GAAP net loss of $69.65 million.

Based on the recent corporate insider activity of 37 insiders, corporate insider sentiment is positive on the stock. This means that over the past quarter there has been an increase of insiders buying their shares of PTLA in relation to earlier this year.

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Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc. engages in the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics in the areas of thrombosis and hematologic disorders, and inflammation. Its FDA-approved medicines include Bevyxxa (betrixaban), the oral, once-daily Factor Xa inhibitor, and Andexxa coagulation factor Xa (recombinant), inactivated-zhzo, the antidote for the Factor Xa inhibitors rivaroxaban and apixaban. The company was founded by Charles J. Homcy and David R. Philips on September 2, 2003 and is headquartered in South San Francisco, CA.