Jefferies downgrades Merck, Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca

Jefferies is out with a few Big Pharma downgrades.

AstraZeneca (AZN) is cut to Underperform from Hold on "poor base business fundamentals" and an "unlikely" Brilinta turnaround. The stock is now Jefferies' "least preferred European stock."

Eli Lilly (LLY) is downgraded to Underperform from Hold on "further R&D disappointment in its pipeline as well as the increased strain this will put on future cash flow allocation required to maintain the dividend." Price target cut to $40 from $49.

Merck (MRK) is cut to Hold from Buy as Jefferies says the magnitude of share repurchases and cost-savings was "less than hoped for." Although MRK may "divest or JV either (or both) its Consumer or Animal Health units, this alone is not reason enough ... to leave the shares on a Buy rating ... considering the pressures on Januvia growth [and] poor R&D productivity."

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Comments (1)
  • Karlos DW
    , contributor
    Comments (28) | Send Message
    I like Merck & will look for further buying opportunities. Perlmutter is doing what he said he would scaling back & reducing complexity. It does feel like there's a more targeted approach to R&D, but results take time.
    11 Oct 2013, 09:26 AM Reply Like
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