OPKO Health (OPK) Signs New Agreement with Japan Tobacco

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Diversified healthcare company, OPKO Health Inc.OPK recently signed an exclusive agreement with Japan Tobacco Inc for the development and commercialization of its kidney drug, RAYALDEE. Japan Tobacco will be responsible for all regulatory approvals and commercial activities pertaining to RAYALDEE in Japan.

A glimpse of OPKO Health's price trend reveals that the stock has had an unimpressive run on the bourse year to date. OPKO Health registered a negative return of almost 26.02% versus the approximate 20.21% positive gain of the industry .

Along with the bearish price trend, estimate revision for the stock has been dismal. Two estimates for the full year declined in the last seven days, with one moving in the opposite direction. As a result, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the full year currently stands at a loss of 20 cents. Notably, the stock has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Coming back to the news, Japan Tobacco will make an upfront payment to OPKO Health worth $6 million with another $6 million payment to be made upon initiation of OPKO Health's planned phase 2 study of RAYALDEE in dialysis patients in the United States. In addition, OPKO Health will be eligible to receive up to an additional $31 million in development and regulatory milestones and $75 million in sales based milestones.

OPKO Health is a medical company focused on diagnostics and pharmaceuticals. It develops treatments for secondary hyperparathyroidism. The company operates in the United States, Chile, Israel, Mexico, Uruguay and Spain. Its diagnostics business consists of Bio-Reference Laboratories, which is the nation's third-largest clinical laboratory with a core genetic testing business and a 420-person sales force.

Key Picks

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical sector are SONOVA HOLDING SONVY , IDEXX Laboratories, Inc IDXX and Luminex Corporation LMNX . SONOVA and Luminex have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while IDEXX Laboratories has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

SONOVA represented a solid return of 14.5% over the last year. The company has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 7%.

IDEXX Laboratories has an average earnings beat of 9.3% over the trailing four quarters. It has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 19.8%.

Luminex came up with a positive earnings surprise of 188.9% in the last quarter. The stock has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 16.3%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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