Morning Buzz: Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN), Enanta Pharmaceuticals (ENTA), NewLink Genetics (NLNK), Apple (AAPL), Taser (TASR)

Shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ACHN) are up 14% in pre-market trading Monday after the company announced positive results from two studies supporting a short duration, potentially best-in-disease regimen of its proprietary NS5A and nucleotide inhibitors, ACH-3102 and ACH-3422.

“We believe that achievement of 100 percent SVR4 in six weeks in the ACH-3102 proxy study, combined with the high potency and safety demonstrated by ACH-3422, highlights the ability of our exceptional, fully owned portfolio to excel in the HCV market,” commented Milind Deshpande, Ph.D., President and CEO of Achillion. “We look forward to initiating in 2015 short duration, pan-genotypic Phase 2 therapeutic trials to evaluate the doublet of ACH-3102 and ACH-3422, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care and access to treatment.”

ACHN shares recently gained $1.94 to $16.25. The stock is up more than 353.99% year-over-year and has gained roughly 328.01% year-to-date. In the past 52 weeks, shares of $1.42B New Haven, Connecticut-based market cap company have traded between a low of $2.45 and a high of $15.31.

Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ENTA) is a big mover this pre-market session with its shares spiking nearly 14% on news the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved AbbVie’s VIEKIRA PAK for the treatment of chronic genotype 1 Hepatitis C virus. The FDA’s approval of VIEKIRA PAK triggers a $75 million regulatory approval milestone payment to Enanta from AbbVie.

“Enanta is proud to have paritaprevir be part of such an important medicine for the treatment of HCV,” stated Jay R. Luly, Ph.D., President and CEO. “This important achievement will fuel and energize Enanta’s continued pursuit of drugs to treat infectious diseases where there is significant medical need.”

ENTA shares recently gained $5.38 to $52.00. In the past 12 months, shares of Watertown, Massachusetts-based firm have traded between a low of $27.00 and a high of $49.09. Shares are up 69.10% year-over-year and 70.89% year-to-date.

NewLink Genetics (NLNK) shares gained nearly 4% in early trade after the firm announced a collaboration with drug giant Merck (MRK) to manufacture Ebola vaccine candidate supported by $30 million government award.

NLNK currently prints a one year return of about 76.46% and a year-to-date return of around 82.24%. Ticker has a market cap of $1.12 billion and a median Wall Street price target of $48.00 with a high target of $55.00.

The chart below shows where the equity has traded over the past 52-weeks.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) – Bloomberg reports that Cupertino has raised iPhone prices in Russia by 35%, its second increase in less than a month to account for the ruble’s plunge against the greenback. Apple had raised prices in Russia by about 25% at the end of November. With the latest increase, the iPhone’s price in rubles has risen 69% in less than a month.

In other Apple news this morning, Piper Jaffray says its most recent consumer survey indicates that 7% of iPhone users currently intend to purchase an Apple Watch, down from 8% in September. Piper reiterates an ‘Overweight’ rating on the shares with a $135 price target.

Apple shares are currently priced at 17.33x this year’s forecasted earnings compared to the industry’s 26.31x earnings multiple. Ticker has a PEG and forward P/E ratio of 1.25 and 13.07, respectively. Price/Sales for the same period is 3.61 while EPS is $6.45. Currently there are 33 analysts that rate AAPL a ‘Buy’, 11 rate it a ‘Hold’. 2 analysts rate it a ‘Sell’. AAPL has a median Wall Street price target of $122.50 with a high target of $150.00.

In the past 52 weeks, AAPL has traded between a low of $70.51 and a high of $119.75 and is now at $112.09. Ticker is up 46.73% year-over-year and up 42.41% year-to-date.

Taser International Inc. (TASR) has risen nearly 4% in pre-market trading after the maker of stun guns announced multiple orders of its TASER brand next generation Smart Weapons and Conducted Electrical Weapons (CEWs). These orders were received in and anticipated to ship in the fourth quarter of 2014.

TASR recently gained $0.94 to $24.92. The name, currently valued at $1.26B, has a median Wall Street price target of $22.00 with a high target of $24.00. In the past 52 weeks, shares of Scottsdale, Arizona-based company have traded between a low of $10.46 and a high of $25.14 with the 50-day MA and 200-day MA located at $21.27 and $15.99 levels, respectively. Additionally, shares of TASR trade at a P/E ratio of 2.12 and have a Relative Strength Index (RSI) and MACD indicator of 64.17 and +0.75, respectively.

TASR currently prints a one year return of about 48.57% and a year-to-date return of around 51.01%.

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