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Vivek Kumar
Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly and Company, an American pharmaceutical company headquartered in Indianapolis, said that its experimental antibody, LY-CoV555, reduces the rate of hospitalization for patients with mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19, sending its shares up about 2% on Wednesday.

Of the total 302 patients treated with three different doses of LY-CoV555, five of them, or 1.7%, had to be admitted to a hospital or visit a hospital emergency room. That compares with a rate of 6%, or 9 out of 150, for trial patients given a placebo, the company said, Reuters reported.

Only the middle dose, 2,800 milligrams, achieved the trial’s main goal of reducing the amount of virus detected in patients compared to a placebo 11 days after treatment, it added.

“The results reinforce our conviction that neutralizing antibodies can help in the fight against COVID-19,” Daniel Skovronsky, Lilly’s chief scientific officer, said in a statement.

“We are grateful to the patients, physicians, and staff that have participated in this trial,” Skovronsky continued. “We look forward to continued data generation as this trial proceeds.”

Eli Lilly’s shares rose about 2% at 152.56 on Wednesday; also, the stock is up over 16% so far this year.

Eli Lilly stock forecast

Nine analysts forecast the average price in 12 months at $176.38 with a high forecast of $190.00 and a low forecast of $164.00. The average price target represents a 17.52% increase from the last price of $150.08. From those nine equity analysts, seven rated “Buy”, two rated “Hold” and none rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a target price of $176 with a high of $214 under a bull-case scenario and $125 under the worst-case scenario. Eli Lilly And Co had its price target boosted by stock analysts at Guggenheim to $185 from $182.

Other equity analysts also recently updated their stock outlook. Several other equity analysts have also updated their stock outlook. Mizuho lifted their price target on Eli Lilly And Co to $164 from $155.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating. UBS Group downgraded shares to “neutral” from “buy” but raised their price objective to $158 from $157. Cfra raised their price target to $167 from $146.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating.

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Analyst views

“We are Overweight Eli Lilly (LLY) shares as we believe consensus underappreciates Lilly’s long-term revenue and EPS growth potential. We project 2020e-2025e CAGR rev +9% and EPS +14%. We see upside potential for pipeline candidate tirzepatide’s ‘trifecta’ opportunity in diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular health,” said David Risinger, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“Pipeline news flow on diabetes and Alzheimer’s candidates could drive stock upside/downside, but we view LLY’s Alzheimer’s pipeline as an inexpensive call option. Lilly could pursue additional tuck-in transactions to enhance long-term growth prospects.”

Upside and Downside Risks

Upside: Upside risks are financial results above expectations, positive pipeline news (e.g. tirzepatide for diabetes and Alzheimer’s-related news flow), competing products disappoint, and compelling external action, highlighted by Morgan Stanley.

Downside: Financials miss, pipeline disappoints (e.g. tirzepatide), negative Alzheimer’s news flow, competing drugs surprise on the upside, and Democratic election sweep causes drug pricing concerns.

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