Citigroup Cuts Neurocrine Biosciences to Sell

Analyst Elise Wang cites the end of the company's agreement with Pfizer to develop and co-promote the sleeping pill indiplon

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Citigroup downgraded Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX) to sell from hold, noting Friday's news about the end of its agreement with Pfizer (PFE) to develop and co-promote the sleeping pill indiplon.

Analyst Elise Wang sees heightened uncertainty as to the timing, if not the likelihood that Indiplon may successfully be commercialized at all. She thinks Neurocrine Biosciences now faces significant strategic challenges, and will need to reassess its internal programs in order to manage operating expenses. She narrows her $2.99 2006 loss estimate to a $2.46 loss, but widens her $2.56 2007 loss estimate to $2.68 loss. She also slashes her $25 stock price target to $5.