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S&P Stock Picks and Pans: Celgene, Autodesk, AstraZeneca


Analysts' opinions on stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchS&P REITERATES BUY OPINION ON SHARES OF CELGENE (CELG; 48.44):

Shares are trading over 15% lower this morning after Celgene announces its presentation of Revlimid data, showing 87% survival at 2 years with low dose dexamethasone, but with mixed response results at differing dexamethasone doses. We believe the results may delay Revlimid's FDA approval for front-line multiple myeloma, but we ultimately see approval and a dominant market position. On our view of higher competitive risk, we are cutting our valuation multiple to 35 times 2009 estimated EPS from 40 times, discounted at 20% from 15%, and are lowering our target price by $10 to $66. - S.Silver

S&P MAINTAINS HOLD RECOMMENDATION ON SHARES OF AUTODESK (ADSK; 48.20):

ADSK's board of directors has approved the repurchase of up to 20 million shares of the company's stock, in addition to the 5 million shares remaining under the company's previously authorized programs. We view this announcement positively because we think it expresses management's belief that the stock is undervalued. We also believe ADSK's fundamentals are improving due to an upgrade cycle of the company's 3D products. However, we are keeping our fiscal year 2009 (January) operating EPS estimate of $1.90 and our 12-month target price of $53, based on a blend of our discounted cash flow and p-e analyses. - J.Yin

S&P REITERATES BUY OPINION ON SHARES OF ASTRAZENECA (AZN; 47.46):

We believe AZN's long-range prospects are enhanced by its move into biologics, outlined at an investor day last Friday. Bolstered by the MedImmune acquisition, AZN has more than doubled its biologics pipeline, which now has some 100 projects. The company hopes to have at least 3 new biologic candidates in pivotal trials by the end of 2010. Key therapeutic concentration will be on infectious, respiratory and inflammatory diseases, and oncology. We view AZN as attractively valued at 11.7 times our 2008 earnings per ADS estimate, a 30% discount to peers. Our 12-month target price is $58. - A. Nordstrom


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