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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Allergan, Gilead Sciences, Pfizer, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Lion Biotechnologies

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 04, 2016 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Allergan plc (NYSE: (AGN - Free Report) -Free Report ), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: (GILD - Free Report) -Free Report ), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: (PFE - Free Report) -Free Report ), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: (REGN - Free Report) -Free Report ) and Lion Biotechnologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: -Free Report )

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Drug Stocks to Watch for Earnings on Friday

The bulk of the Q3 earnings season is over, with 364 S&P 500 members (as of Nov 2) – accounting for 72.6% of the index’s total market capitalization – having already reported results, according to the latest Earnings Outlook.

While total earnings for these index members were up 1.6% from the year-ago quarter, revenues were also up 1.6% year over year. The beat ratio was 72.3% for earnings and 54.7% for revenues.

Notably, the ongoing reporting cycle is on track to be the first quarter of positive earnings growth after five consecutive quarters of earnings decline for the S&P 500 index. However, though the third-quarter reporting cycle saw numerous positive surprises and stability in current-quarter (Q4 2016) estimates in the beginning, these two attributes have started losing ground this week. Positive surprises, particularly on the revenue side, have become harder to come by and Q4 estimates are moving down.

This change was reflected in the results of pharmaceutical companies as well. Though quite a few of the large-cap pharma companies posted better-than-expected third-quarter results last week, three large pharma companies that have reported so far this week – Allergan plc’s (NYSE: (AGN - Free Report) -Free Report ), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: (GILD - Free Report) -Free Report ) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: (PFE - Free Report) -Free Report ) – announced softer-than-expected Q3 results. While Allergan and Pfizer missed estimates for both earnings and sales, Gilead managed to beat sales expectations marginally but missed earnings estimates.

Two more companies from the healthcare sector are set to report their third-quarter results on Nov 4. Let's see how things are shaping up for their respective announcements.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( NASDAQ: (REGN - Free Report) -Free Report )

Regeneron posted a positive surprise of 21.97% last reported. The company’s performance has been mixed so far. In the last four quarters, it surpassed earnings estimates on two occasions and missed the same twice. Overall, the company has recorded an average negative earnings surprise of 2.04%.

Regeneron’s key growth driver, Eylea, should continue to perform well in the third quarter of 2016 and contribute meaningfully to the top line. Apart from Eylea, investor focus will remain on the performance of the PCSK9 inhibitor, Praluent. (Read More: Regeneron Q3 Earnings: Will the Stock Surprise? ).

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at $2.27 per share. The company has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. Please check our Earnings ESP Filter that enables you find stocks that are expected to come out with earnings surprises.

Lion Biotechnologies, Inc. ( NASDAQ: -Free Report )

Last quarter, the company delivered a negative earnings surprise of 21.05%. Lion Biotechnologies had a mixed track record over the last four quarters. The company surpassed expectations twice, missed once and delivered in-line results in the other quarter, with the average positive earnings surprise being 9.52%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at a loss of 18 cents per share. The company has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

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