The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Myriad Genetics, Anika Therapeutics, Biogen Idec, Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Cabot Oil & Gas

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Myriad Genetics, Anika Therapeutics, Biogen
              Idec, Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Cabot Oil & Gas

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, June 18, 2013

CHICAGO, June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Myriad Genetics Inc.
(Nasdaq:MYGN-Free Report), Anika Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:ANIK-Free Report),
Biogen Idec Inc. (Nasdaq:BIIB-Free Report), Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
(Nasdaq:ALXN-Free Report) and Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE:COG-Free


Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Myriad: End to Legal Battle Over Patents

The much hyped Supreme Court ruling regarding legal claims that challenge its
patent landscape is out forMyriad Genetics Inc. (Nasdaq:MYGN-Free Report) and
it seems like a halfway triumph for this molecular diagnostic company.

The Issue

In Nov 2012, Myriad revealed that the U.S. Supreme Court would review the
decision of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. It applies to the
company's composition of matter claims that isolated DNA of the BRCA1 and
BRCA2 genes are patentable. Earlier, in Apr 2012, U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Federal Circuit declared that Myriad's composition of matter claims
covering isolated DNA of the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes were patentable.

Following the Supreme Court review, earlier ruling by the Federal Circuit
Court of Appeals to declare the patentability of Myriad's composition of
matter claims covering isolated DNA of the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes were
subject to legal scrutiny once again. The legal claims pertain to the
company's flagship Bracanalysis test. The decision was anticipated in Jun

The Verdict

While the apex court upheld Myriad's patent claims on complementary DNA or
cDNA, the other five claims from the company to cover isolated DNA were
declared not eligible for patents by the U.S. Supreme Court. According to the
Court, most of Myriad's unchallenged claims pertain to 'method claims'
applying knowledge about BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene. This implies patent
eligibility for the company's 'method claims'.

Subsequent to the ruling, Myriad currently has over 500 valid and enforceable
claims in 24 various patents for its Bracanalysis test. This still reflects a
solid patent landscape for the company's primary revenue driver.

The Implications

The landmark Supreme Court ruling declared that isolated human genes are not
patentable. This represents a downside for Myriad. As a result, the stock
tanked 13.81% (or $4.42) on Jun 14 following the much awaited decision.

This is likely to spur competition for the company as its leadership in the
market stands challenged. The decision also provides headway for other
companies in the market which Myriad served with its exclusive Bracanalysis
test. With the entry of new players, imminent price competition is another
cause of concern.

Nonetheless, cDNA or synthesized DNA was declared patentable. The Supreme
Court also upheld the patent eligibility of the company's method claims. As
most of Myriad's patent claims were upheld, the company still has a strong
patent protection for its Bracanalysis test.

We wait to see the impact of the Supreme Court ruling on Myriad's growth
profile going forward. Until then, the stock carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
Buy) on the back of positive estimate revisions for the ongoing and next
fiscal and stellar earnings performance over the past few quarters.

Other Zacks Rank #1 stocks that warrant a look are Anika Therapeutics Inc.
(Nasdaq:ANIK-Free Report) and Biogen Idec Inc. (Nasdaq:BIIB-Free Report).
Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ALXN-Free Report), carrying a Zacks Rank
#2 (Buy) is also likely to do well.

Cabot Downgraded to Strong Sell

On Jun 15, Zacks Investment Research downgraded independent oil and gas
exploration and production (E&P) company, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation
(NYSE:COG-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Why the Downgrade?

Cabot witnessed sharp downward estimate revisions after reporting weak
first-quarter 2013 results. In fact, the company has delivered negative
earnings surprises in 2 of the last 4 quarters with an average miss of 15.95%.

On Apr 24, 2013, Cabot reported earnings per share, excluding special items,
of 20 cents, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 25 cents. The
underperformance resulted from lower realized natural gas prices.

Cabot's 2013 capital expenditure guidance – at $950–$1,025 million – add to
the negative sentiment, as we do not expect this rate of spending to be
matched by increased cash flows at the current gas price level. Accordingly,
we apprehend a free cash flow deficit in 2013. 

Moreover, we remain worried about volatile natural gas fundamentals and
Cabot's high exposure to the commodity. Unless the outlook for natural gas
prices improves, we do not see any significant price upside in Cabot shares.

A combination of all these factors weighed on the earnings estimates for Cabot
in the last 60 days. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the second quarter of
2013 has gone down by 19.35% to 25 cents per share while it dropped 10.87% to
$1.23 per share for 2013.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

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