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What Analysts Recommend for CBAY and VKTX

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Jun. 14 2019, Updated 1:21 p.m. ET

Which is the better pick?

This year, CymaBay Therapeutics (CBAY) has fallen 21.60% and Viking Therapeutics (VKTX) has risen 4.31%. While both clinical-stage companies focus on advancing their NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) R&D (research and development) programs, Viking seems to be ahead, considering its successful Phase 2 trials. However, Viking’s valuation is higher than CymaBay’s, especially after the latter crashed by ~45% on June 11. Whereas Viking’s PB (price-to-book) and PC (price-to-cash) ratios are 1.94x and 1.89x, respectively, CymaBay’s PB and PC ratios are 1.48x and 1.59x.

NASH’s global addressable market opportunity has been estimated to be $35 billion. In this backdrop, we’ll assess CymaBay’s and Viking’s pros and cons to evaluate which may be a better pick in the long run.

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Analysts’ recommendations and target prices

Most analysts recommend “buy” for CymaBay and Viking. They reduced their target price for CymaBay stock from $21.70 in March and April to $21.64 in May and then to $16 in June, which implies a 159.32% upside based on its June 12 closing price. Their highest and lowest estimates are $26 and $8. Of the 11 analysts covering CymaBay, four recommend “strong buy,” six recommend “buy,” and one recommends “hold.”

Analysts have gradually increased their target price for Viking stock, from $26.94 in March to $27 in April, and then to $27.13 in May and June, which implies a 239.97% upside based on its June 12 closing price. Their highest and lowest estimates are $41 and $16. Of the nine analysts covering Viking, three recommend “strong buy,” and six recommend “buy.”

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