By Carly Forster

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) is a Foster City, California based bio-pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes therapeutics for unmet medical areas in need. The biopharmaceutical company recently launched a hepatitis C treatment called Sovaldi. The launch was extremely successful and many speculate it will be the biggest biotech event this year so far.

Demand for the hepatitis C drug has been outstandingly high from doctors and patients all over the world. In fact, Gilead sold over $5 billion worth of the drug in its first 6 months on the market, earning the title of this year’s top selling medicine so far and the only medicine to reach such high sales so quickly.

Gregg H. Alton, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Medical Affairs noted, “Hepatitis C is a significant public health issue worldwide, and Gilead is working to make its chronic hepatitis C medicines accessible to as many patients, in as many places, as quickly as possible. In developing countries, large-volume generic manufacturing and distribution is widely regarded as a key component in expanding access to medicines. These agreements are essential to advancing the goals of our humanitarian program in these countries.”

Shares of Gilead Sciences opened at $106.99 on Wednesday, October 1st. The biopharmaceutical company has a 1-year high of $110.64 and a 1-year low of $58.81. The stock’s daily moving average is $106.39 and had a 50-day moving average of $104.50. The market cap for Gilead Sciences is $159.62 billion and its P/E ratio is 23.92.

On September 30th, Deutsche Bank analyst Robyn Karnauskas reaffirmed a Buy rating for Gilead Sciences with a $142 price target. She noted, “We highlight that GILD has the best in class nuke and if it is difficult to cure patients with the best in class drug at 4 weeks, we believe it may be equally/more difficult for other players. However, we believe other combos could still work at longer durations & model competition accordingly.” Karnauskas currently has a 67% success rate in recommending stocks, earning a +9.8% average return per recommendation. She has also rated Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) 14 times, earning an 86% success rate recommending the stock.

Gilead Sciences

Similarly on October 1st, Merril Lynch analyst Ying Huang reiterated a Buy rating for Gilead Sciences with a $130 price target. He reasoned, “In 1H14, GILD reported an astounding $5.8B in Sovaldi sales, and is on track to rake in $12B+ in total HCV sales this year, by our estimates. Beyond Sovaldi, we believe the upcoming oral once-dailysofosbuvir/ledipasvir fixed dose combination (FDC) will dominate the market, given its remarkable efficacy/safety profile and convenient administration.” Huang currently has an 83% success rate recommending stocks, earning an +18.3% average return per recommendation.

On average, the top analyst consensus for Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) is Moderate Buy.

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Carly Forster writes about stock market news. She can be reached at [email protected]