BUZZ-J.P.Morgan sees certain big drugmakers well-positioned into Q1

Brokerage J.P. Morgan optimistic about the performance of certain major drugmakers in Q1

  

** Brokerage J.P. Morgan optimistic about the performance of certain major drugmakers in Q1

** Says Pfizer Inc PFE.N and Johnson & Johnson best positioned, with core business strength coupled with upside from COVID-19 vaccine revenue

** Expects PFE to lift its 2021 vaccine sales guidance from the ~$15 bln it previously forecast; also expects JNJ to update full-year guidance by factoring in vaccine sales

** Says Eli Lilly and Co's core business remains healthy, but lowers Q1 COVID-19 therapy sales estimates to $700 mln from $1 bln following LLY's recently modified purchase agreement with the U.S. government 

** Says AbbVie Inc ABBV.N remains its favorite name across the group; expects a solid Q1 on core business strength and expects new launches across co's Immunology/Neurology segments to potentially drive upside to estimates over the next several years

** Says Bristol-Myers Squibb Co to benefit from fairly healthy trends in core business; lowers Q1 sales and EPS estimates for Merck & Co on vaccine franchise headwinds, however, is optimistic about long-term opportunity

** However, brokerage says there are tough y-o-y comps for most companies due to COVID-19 related stocking in Q1 2020; expects BMY and LLY to be most impacted

** With solid pipeline progress and a number of important readouts in 2021 we see patent expirations as increasingly manageable and an opportunity for the sector to re-rate on further pipeline derisking - brokerage

** YTD, PFE had gained 0.4%, JNJ up 2.7% ABBV and BMY up about 1%, while MRK had fallen 6.8% up to last close

(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar) ((Amruta.Khandekar@thomsonreuters.com;))

More From Equities