Shares of Gilead Sciences ( GILD ) hit a 52-week high of $102.57 during the trading session on Aug 20. The maker of the blockbuster drug Sovaldi however closed the trading session at $100.79. The stock was buoyed by Sovaldi's performance in the recent past.
With more than 34% of year-to-date return and a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 29.91%, this biopharma stock seems to be an attractive pick for long-term investors. The average volume of shares traded over the last three months stands at approximately 13,242 K. Moreover, this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company has delivered positive earnings surprises in all of the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 37.15%.
Sovaldi has not only performed encouragingly so far, but is expected to sustain this level of performance in the future as well. The blockbuster drug is currently the leading product in the lucrative HCV market.
The recent stock appreciation of Gilead was based on last week's legal win over Roche ( RHHBY ) in an arbitration related to Sovaldi. Also, the company received a positive recommendation from NICE - the UK health watchdog - regarding the use of the drug for treating patients suffering from chronic hepatitis C (read more: Gilead Scores Legal Victory Over Roche for Sovaldi, Shares Up ).
Meanwhile, Sovaldi continued its strong performance in the second quarter of 2014 as well. The drug has boosted Gilead's both top line and bottom line since its launch in Dec 2013. Gilead's second quarter adjusted earnings of $2.32 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.61 and the year-ago figure of 48 cents per share on the back of strong revenues. Gilead recorded Sovaldi sales of $3.5 billion in the second quarter climbing 53.3% sequentially.
Other products like Complera/Eviplera (HIV) and Stribild (HIV) are also performing well.
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