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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Biogen, Gilead, Puma Biotechnology, AbbVie and Celgene

CHICAGO, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Biogen (Nasdaq: BIIB-Free Report), Gilead (Nasdaq: GILD-Free Report), Puma Biotechnology (NYSE: PBYI-Free Report), AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV-Free Report) and Celgene (Nasdaq: CELG-Free Report).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Biotech Stock Roundup

It was a busy week in the biotech sector with quite a few major companies reporting second quarter earnings. Outperformers included companies like Biogen (Nasdaq: BIIB-Free Report) and Gilead (Nasdaq: GILD-Free Report) – both reported impressive numbers that sailed past expectations.

Meanwhile, a company that stood out last week among the outperformers is Puma Biotechnology (NYSE: PBYI-Free Report) thanks to positive top-line data on its late-stage experimental cancer treatment.

Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories

1. Gilead's second quarter results were way above expectations thanks to the continued impressive performance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment, Sovaldi. Sovaldi contributed $3.48 billion to second quarter revenues, accounting for more than half of total revenues in the reported quarter. For the first time, Gilead provided revenue guidance including the impact of Sovaldi.

Meanwhile, in addition to reporting impressive second quarter results, Gilead could very well have another blockbuster in its hands in the form of Zydelig which gained FDA approval for three types of cancer (Read more: Gilead Crushes Q2 Earnings Estimates as Sovaldi Sales Soar).

2. Another biotech company that came out with results that shot past expectations by a wide margin is Biogen. Biogen's results too were driven by the impressive performance of one of its more recent offerings – oral multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment Tecfidera.

According to Biogen, Tecfidera, which is already the leading oral MS therapy in the U.S., is on track to be the leading MS therapy in the U.S. Biogen upped its earnings and revenue guidance significantly – this is the second time this year that the company raised its outlook (Read more: Biogen's Q2 Earnings Surpass Expectations, Tecfidera Shines).

3. AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV-Free Report) also reported strong results with Humira remaining the growth driver. With AbbVie's dependence on Humira having been a source of concern, the upcoming acquisition of UK-based Shire bodes well for the company. This acquisition will not only lead to lower taxes, AbbVie's product portfolio and pipeline will also get a boost (Read more: AbbVie Q2 Earnings Top on Humira Sales, Shire In Focus).

4.Celgene's (Nasdaq: CELG-Free Report) second quarter results were also better-than-expected and the company raised its guidance as well. The key growth driver was cancer drug, Revlimid, which brought in sales of $1.2 billion (Read more: Celgene Beats Q2 Earnings Estimates on Strong Revlimid Sales).

5. Puma Biotechnology's shares skyrocketed a whopping 295% on positive data from late-stage study on its experimental breast cancer treatment, PB272 (neratinib). A 33% improvement in disease free survival was observed compared to placebo. With the positive data, Puma is in a position to file for approval in the first half of 2015 (Read more: Puma Biotech Surges on Positive Results on Neratinib).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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