Gilead Lifts 2020 Guidance Driven By Remdesivir Demand; Shares Gain

Gilead Sciences raised its full-year 2020 profit forecast on Monday fueled by demand for its remdesivir treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shares rose 1.2% in early morning US trading.

Gilead (GILD) noted that the updated guidance was based on preliminary fourth quarter 2020 results, which are scheduled to be released in the coming weeks and could change depending on final adjustments and other developments that could potentially arise.

Total product sales guidance for 2020 was revised to between $24.3 billion and $24.35 billion, up from a range of $23 billion to $23.5 billion in a previous forecast. The demand for remdesivir was a major contributor to the sales performance as hospitalization and treatment rates were higher-than-expected due the most recent surge in COVID-19 infections.

The upper limit of operating income guidance was increased to $11.75 billion from $11.2 billion. Adjusted earnings for 2020 are now forecasted to land between $6.98 to $7.08 per share versus the previous range of $6.25 to $6.60. (See GILD stock analysis on TipRanks)

Citigroup analyst Mohit Bansal last month reiterated his Buy rating on GILD but lowered his price target from $75 to $72 (14% upside potential)

Bansal’s PT change came after he updated his model to reflect Gilead’s decision to stop pursuing Filgotinib as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. The analyst does however believe that Gilead’s new oncology business looks promising and could be a growth driver from 2023.

Consensus among analysts on the Street is a Moderate Buy based on 10 Buys, 12 Holds and 1 Sell. The average price target of $73.94 suggests upside potential of around 17% over the next 12 months.

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