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Shares of Celgene Corporation (CELG - Analyst Report) hit a 52-week high of $97.71 almost at the end of the trading session on Jan 14. This biopharmaceutical stock gained significant momentum following the announcement of its upbeat earnings forecasts for the upcoming years on Jan 7.

Moreover, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company has delivered positive earnings surprises in 3 of the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 1.4%. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 21.3%.

Celgene Upbeat about Future

Celgene provided encouraging guidance for 2013. The company expects adjusted earnings for 2013 in the range of $5.50-$5.60 per share, up 12-14% over expected earnings of $4.90 per share for 2012.

Net product sales for 2013 are expected to be approximately $6 billion, up 11.4% year over year. Net sales of oncology drug Revlimid, the key growth driver at Celgene, is projected in the range of $4.1 -$4.2 billion, reflecting an increase of 9 - 12 % year over year.

Celgene maintained its view for 2015. The company continues to expect adjusted earnings for 2015 in the range of $8.00 - $9.00 per share. Net product sales for 2015 are still forecasted in the range of $8.0-9.0 billion. Celgene also provided a rosy outlook for 2017. The company projects net product sales of $12.0 billion for 2017. Moreover, adjusted earnings per share for 2017 are forecasted in the range of $13.00 - $14.00. Net product sales at Celgene are expected to increase at a compounded annual growth rate of 19% from 2013 to 2017.

The company, which will announce its fourth quarter and full year 2012 results on Jan 24, expects net product sales for 2012 to be $5.4 billion, up 15% year over year. Celgene expects 2012 revenues of $5.5 billion, up 14% year over year, driven by strong Revlimid sales. Sales of Revlimid are expected to exceed $1 billion in the final quarter of 2012.

Multiple Pipeline Related News Coming up

Celgene boasts of an interesting and diversified pipeline. Multiple pipeline-related news are expected in the coming quarters. The decision on oncology candidate pomalidomide (target date: February 10, 2013) is an eagerly awaited event. Moreover, Celgene is highly optimistic on the potential of apremilast, which is being developed for multiple indications such as moderate-to-severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The successful development and commercialization of the pipeline should boost Celgene’s top line further.

Other Stocks to Consider

Apart from Celgene, other pharma stocks with favorable Zacks Rank include Targacept Inc. (TRGT - Snapshot Report) and Medivation, Inc. (MDVN - Analyst Report). Both these companies carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).


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