This Blockbuster Drug Has Room to Run

Shares of blood cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics Inc. (Nasdaq: PCYC) rocketed as much as 22% last Tuesday after the company exhilarated investors by forecasting that sales of its key drug would double this year.

We weren't surprised by this, of course.

But even more important was that Private Briefing readers weren't, either.

In a Private Briefing report back in early December, we said the Pharmacyclics blood cancer drug Imbruvica (ibrutinib) was well on its way to becoming the blockbuster we predicted when we first recommended shares of the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based biotech back in April 2012.

That "call" was right on target.

Late last Monday, after the close of trading, Pharmacyclics said net-product revenue for Imbruvica for full-year 2014 would come in at $492 million. That would include sales of about $185 million in the fourth quarter alone - a hefty "sequential" (quarter-to-quarter) jump of 31%.

But here's the real stunner: For 2015, the company is looking at sales to more than double and reach $1 billion.

For those who want the actual numbers, that's a gain of 103%.

Imbruvica, you see, is shaping up to be the very blockbuster we told you it would be.

And that bodes well for Pharmacyclics shares.

Let's take a look ...

A Leap... a Jump... and More to Come

Pharmacyclics shares have gained as much as 444% since we recommended them in the April 2012 special research report "The Biotech Buyout Binge."

From our initial recommendation price of $28.47 a share, the stock has soared as high as $154.89.

We re-recommended it back on Dec. 3 - and it closed that day at $139.33.

On Tuesday, Pharmacyclics zoomed as much as $27.28 a share, or 22%, to peak at $150.99.

Although it gave back some of those gains, the stock was still up $20.37 a share, or 16.2%, to $144.08 in late-afternoon trading. That's 3% above our Dec. 3 re-recommendation close - or about 27% on an annualized basis.

Sell-siders right now have a $156 target price on Pharmacyclics. But the estimates go as high as $225 - a potential 68% gain from current levels and 690% above our $28.47-a-share"Buy" price.

And with the company's bullish, just-released projection for Imbruvica, you can bet we'll see a strong "upgrade cycle" - where analysts boost their ratings and target prices for Pharmacyclics. And a concentrated upgrade cycle could be just the catalyst required for the stock to embark on its next rally.

For instance, RBC Analyst Michael Yee boosted his target price from $118 to $130 - only to have the stock blow right through his estimate.

Pharmacyclics is far from our only big win in the biotech sector...

In fact, of the three-dozen "double-or-better" recommendations we've brought you since launching Private Briefing back in August 2011, one-third have been biotech or biopharma players - including such peak windfalls as 648% from Celldex Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: CLDX) and 456% from Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE: INO).

And we've recently re-recommended such biotech winners as Repligen Corp. (Nasdaq: RGEN) - up 208% - and Private Briefing favorite AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV), which has doubled and is going for more thanks to the end-of-2014 approval of its next-generation Viekira Pak hepatitis C drug. (For AbbVie, it also doesn't hurt that that the company last year struck a billion-dollar bargain to do anti-aging research with the newly hatched Google Inc. [Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL] subsidiary called Calico Life Sciences LLC.)

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It's always gratifying to see one of our predictions - like the one focused on Imbruvica - come true.

And it's not because of any ego boost we get from being "right."

You see, when one of our market "calls" proves correct, you make money.

And helping you make money was the reason we launched Private Briefing in the first place.

Up Next: CEO Buys His Own Stock, Shares Seen Going Up 108%...

A little over a year ago, on December 2, 2013, the CEO of a tiny defense contractor bought over 30,000 shares of his own company. The stock went up 30% in just over a month. Recently, this CEO snapped up even more shares. This time Bill expects the stock to pop by 108%. For full access to Bill's report on this incredible opportunity, click here

About the Author

Before he moved into the investment-research business in 2005, William (Bill) Patalon III spent 22 years as an award-winning financial reporter, columnist, and editor. Today he is the Executive Editor and Senior Research Analyst for Money Morning at Money Map Press.

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