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Wall Street’s Best and Worst Calls of the First Quarter 2015

The first quarter of 2015 has come to a close and companies are still releasing earnings reports. Let’s look back and see which analysts made the best and worst stock recommendations of the quarter. Every stock on the best and worst recommendations list is a biopharmaceutical, highlighting the volatility and unpredictable nature of this sector. It is also interesting to note that one analyst can be found on both the best and worst ratings list. Recommendations are measured from the date they were issued up until March 31, the effective last day of the quarter.

Best ratings of the quarter:

  1. On January 21, John Newman of Canaccord Genuity reiterated a Buy rating on Egalet Corp (EGLT) with a price target of $25 when EGLT share prices were $4.93. As of March 31, the stock was $12.93 per share after EGLT shares shot up following positive top-line results for an abuse deterrent pipeline drug. The share increased resulted in a 162% return on Newman’s recommendation, making it the most profitable recommendation of the quarter.
  2. On January 22, Irina Rivkind Koffler of Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a Buy rating on Eagle Pharmaceuticals (EGRX) with a price target of $30 when shares were $16.40. In mid-February, EGRX achieved a license deal for a leukemia drug with Teva. On March 31, shares of EGRX were $46.47, resulting in a 155% return on the rating and the second most profitable rating of the quarter.
  3. On January 20, Jason Kolbert of Maxim Group reiterated a Buy rating on Cytori Therapeutics, Inc (CYTX) with a $7 price target when share prices were $0.47. On March 31, CYTX shares were $1.18, marking a 153% return on the rating. CYTX shares soared in late November after Cytori received positive feedback from Europe regarding an orphan drug application for a pipeline drug. Jason Kolbert makes a second appearance on the top recommendations list thanks to a second rating on Cytori. A few weeks before his January 20th rating, Kolbert reiterated a Buy rating on CYTX on February 19. At the time his price target was still $7 and CYTX shares were trading at $0.55, resulting in a 114% return by March 31. This was the #6 most profitable recommendation of the quarter.
  4. Joseph Pantginis of Roth Capital made both the fourth and fifth most profitable ratings of the quarter for the same stock; CYTX. On January 16, Pantginis reiterated a Buy rating on Cytori and nearly doubled his price target from $3.50 to $6. At the time, Cytori shares were $0.48 a share. CYTX shares soared in late November after Cytori received positive feedback from Europe regarding an orphan drug application for a pipeline drug. By March 31, Cytori was $1.18 per share, marking a 147% return and earning Pantginis the #5 most profitable rating of the quarter. Pantginis reiterated the bullish Cytori rating on February 17 when shares were $0.47 and maintained his $6 price target. This resulted in a 151% return by March 31, making it the #4 most profitable rating of the quarter.
  5. The #7 most profitable rating came from Hartaj Singh of BTIG. On January 5, Hartaj initiated coverage on Pharmacyclics, Inc (PCYC) with a Buy rating and a $225 price target when shares were trading at $119.85. On March 31, PCYC was trading at $255.95 marking a 113% return on the rating. PCYC shares increased due to positive trial data for a pipeline drug at the end of February and due to a deal with AbbVie in early March.

Worst ratings of the quarter:

  1. Two analysts tied for the worst rating of the quarter and with the same stock. One was Jonathan Aschoff of Brean Capital who reiterated a Buy rating on OHR Pharmaceutical (OHRP) with a $34 price target on March 2. At the time, OHRP shares were trading at $9.78. On March 31, OHRP shares were $2.54 each, marking a 74% loss. Shares of OHR Pharmaceutical dropped dramatically at the end of March when the company announced that a pipeline drug aimed at age-related muscular degeneration failed to meet its primary endpoint.
  2. Also tied for the worst rating of the quarter is Tyler Van Buren of Cowen & Co, who initiated coverage on OHR Pharmaceutical (OHRP) with an Outperform rating on March 2 and a $25 price target. Like Aschoff, Van Buren lost 74% on his recommendation when OHRP’s pipeline drug failed to meet its primary endpoint during testing.
  3. Daniel Brims of Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a Buy rating on MEI Pharma (MEIP) on March 11 with a price target of $14 when shares were trading at $6.04. However, in mid-late March MEIP shares plummeted after its cancer drug, Pracinostat, failed to meet primary goals in a trial. By the end of the quarter on March 31, MEIP shares were $1.79 resulting in a 70% loss on Brims’s recommendation.
  4. Elemer Piros of Roth Capital also fell victim to OHRP in the first quarter. On February 26, Piros initiated coverage on OHRP with a Buy rating and a $30 price target when shares were trading at $7.92. The failure of OHRP’s pipeline drug to achieve its primary endpoint testing sent shares plummeting to $2.54, resulting in a 68% loss on Piros’s rating.
  5. Joseph Pantginis, who also made two of the most profitable ratings of the quarter, made the sixth worst rating of the first quarter. On March 5, Pantginis reiterated a Buy rating on MEIP with a $14 price target when shares were trading at $5.72. However by the end of the quarter, MEIP shares had plummeted to $1.79 due to Pracinostat’s failure to meet goals during testing. Consequently. Pantginis lost 66% on the rating.

About the author:

TipRanks
TipRanks uses machine learning and language processing algorithms to measure the performance of anyone giving investment advice. With TipRanks you can instantly see the track record and measured performance of any analyst or blogger you come across online going as far back as January 2009, so you know who to trust.

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