Shares of Amgen Inc. AMGN leapt 5.2% in morning trading Tuesday, enough to pace the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s DJIA gainers, after Morgan Stanley turned bullish on the biotechnology company. Amgen’s stock price gain of $12.04 was adding about 79 points to the Dow’s price, while the Dow fell 109 points, or 0.4%. Analyst Matthew Harrison raised his rating on Amgen to overweight, as his $279 stock price target implies TK% upside from current levels. Although Amgen faces risk from biosimilar exposure over the longer term, in the current economic and volatile market environment, Harrison is now bullish given Amgen’s “defensive positioning,” and as its AMG133 drug offers “an attractive call option” in the obesity market. The stock has rallied 8.5% year to date, while the iShares Biotechnology ETF IBB has dropped 23.4% and the Dow has declined 19.9%.
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