Do Analysts See Any Upside for Ionis Stock?


Dec. 14 2018, Updated 2:59 p.m. ET

Analysts’ recommendations

Of the 14 analysts covering Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS), five have given it “buy” or higher ratings, seven have given it “holds,” and two have given it “sells.”

The mean rating for Ionis stock is 2.71, and the consensus target price for the stock is $57.31, implying a potential 7.2% upside based on its December 13 closing price of $53.47.

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Peers’ ratings

In comparison, peers Eli Lilly and Company (LLY), Merck & Co. (MRK), and Pfizer (PFE) have received mean ratings of 2.44, 1.69, and 2.72, respectively, and target prices of $114.06, $80.38, and $44.15, respectively, from analysts.

Ionis’s current ratio, which shows how effectively it can meet its short-term obligations, is 8.0x. In comparison, Eli Lilly’s, Merck’s, and Pfizer’s current ratios are 1.90x, 1.40x, and 1.40x, respectively.

Stock performance

After rising from $43.37 on October 11 to a high of $59.54 on December 3, Ionis stock corrected to $53.12 on December 7. Since then, after witnessing buying interest, the stock has again corrected to $53.47.

Ionis’s long-term debt-to-equity ratio is 0.88x, whereas peers Eli Lilly, Merck, and Pfizer have debt-to-equity ratios of 0.89x, 0.61x, and 0.47x, respectively.

In 2018 and 2019, Ionis’s free cash flows are expected to be $148.13 million and $85.47 million, respectively, compared to $136.29 million in 2017. Its price-to-free cash flow ratio is 15.93x, while Eli Lilly’s, Merck’s, and Pfizer’s are 54.62x, 55.73x, and 27.06x, respectively.


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