Biogen Chairman Reassures Investors With $3 Million Stock Buy

Biogen Chairman Reassures Investors With $3 Million Stock Buy
July 29, 2015
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Biogen’s chairman of the board purchased more than $3 million worth of company stock at market price, reassuring investors that the company is still a solid investment even though some analysts were not pleased with the company’s quarterly financial report released last week.

The common stock purchase was the first time a top Biogen official has done so in the past five years, the Boston Business Journal reported this morning.

Federal filings show that Stelios Papadopolous purchased two blocks of 5,000 shares, 10,000 in total, at $304.77 per share and $304.98 per share, respectively. Papadopoulos has served on the board since 2008. Sleek Money notes Papadopolous owns 16,580 shares of Biogen stock, with a value of more than $5 million.

Over the past few weeks, has taken a beating, dropping more than 100 points over a few days. In July 20, 2015, shares traded for $408.93 and plunged on July 24, 2015 to $300.03. In the last year, shares spiked on March 20, 2015 at $475.98, up significantly from a Nov. 20, 2014 of $299.53. This morning, Biogen’s stock is down from its opening price of $321.92 per share, trading at $314.10 per share.

The selloff was spurred in part by lower than expected sales of Tecfidera. Sales of the drug rose from $700 million in the second quarter of 2014 to $883 million this year. However, analysts were expecting quarterly sales of $909 million instead of $883 million for Tecfidera. In addition to Tecfidera not meeting analysts’ expectations, investors were also disappointed with the latest results of an Alzheimer’s drug treatment that had been quite promising earlier this year. In April, Biogen announced its drug BIIB037, or aducanumab, led to reductions in brain amyloid plaque by as much as 71 percent. The plaque reduction was more pronounced as the dose of the drug increased over time and Biogen also announced the drug was able to reduce cognitive decline. But, in its latest revelations, Biogen said the 54-week data from the six milligram patients showed a statistically significant decrease of beta amyloid in the brain, but did not show a statistically significant improvement in cognitive decline, although apparently it did show some improvement.

Despite the investor letdown for its second quarter, Biogen reported revenues of $2.6 billion, an increase of 7 percent compared to the second quarter of 2014. The company’s six-month earnings were $5.2 billion, up from $4.6 billion in 2014.

The success of the company is one reason Papadopolous, a seasoned investor, bought the stocks at market price. Papadopolous is a former investment banker who served as vice chairmen of Cowen & Co., LLC. Prior to his time at Cowen, he spent thirteen years at PaineWebber where he focused on biotechnology.

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