Friedman Billings Gives Biogen 'Underperform' Rating

Analyst Jonathan Aschoff believes slow revenue growth and suspected negative recommendation on Amevive by an FDA panel may further depress the shares

Biogen (BGEN ) shares fell after Friedman Billings started coverage with an underperform rating.

Analyst Jonathan Aschoff believes slow revenue growth, negative EPS (compounded annual growth rate), and suspected negative recommendation on Amevive by an FDA panel may further depress BGEN shares. He says the FDA panel may recommend against approval of Amevive on May 23 based on safety issues regarding drug-induced T-cell depletion. He notes this would be an immediate-term negative catalyst.

The analyst sees revenue of $1.17 billion in 2002 (12% growth) and $1.25 billion in 2003 (7% growth). He thinks Avonex's (the company's MS drug) revenue growth may decline due to early intro of Serono's Rebif to the U.S. MS market. He sees 5-year revenue compounded annual growth rate of only 8%, the lowest among its peers.

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