Dutton Associates updates its coverage of AVI BioPharma (Nasdaq:AVII), maintaining its rating at Strong Speculative Buy and its price target of $6.00. The 13-page report by Dutton senior analyst Stephen L. Handley is available at www.jmdutton.com, and at First Call, Bloomberg, Knobias, Zacks, Reuters, and other leading financial portals.
We continue to be impressed with the broad applicability and promise of AVI’s differentiated technology in the treatment of many diseases. The stock has been quite volatile since we initiated research coverage in November 2005, as investors have variously focused on the positive or negative implications of the news associated with one or more of AVI’s products. There have, in fact, been recent positive developments, including the award a month ago of a two-year, $28 million research contract with an agency of the Department of Defense related to biological warfare and bioterrorism agents. This, combined with ongoing defense-related programs and our expectation of revenues from at least one important new licensing agreement in the next year, supports our belief that AVI is likely to generate a modest profit in 2007. We also expect several important clinical milestones to be achieved this year. It remains difficult to predict the near-term price movement for AVI, as is the case for most development-stage healthcare companies. Nevertheless, we judge that the Company has many programs that, individually, could eventually generate significant earnings, and so we are optimistic that this stock could prove rewarding to the long-term investor. Our Strong Speculative Buy rating and near-term price target both remain unchanged, although the time frame for this target has been deferred until the end of 2007.
About Dutton Associates
Dutton Associates is one of the largest independent investment research firms in the U.S. Its 31 senior analysts are primarily CFAs, and have expertise in many industries. Dutton Associates provides continuing analyst coverage of over 140 enrolled companies, and its research, estimates, and ratings are carried in all the major databases serving institutions and online investors.
The cost of enrollment in the Dutton Associates one-year continuing research program is US $35,000 prepaid from the Company for 4 Research Reports, typically published quarterly, and requisite Research Notes. Dutton Associates received $33,000 from the Company for 4 Research Reports with coverage commencing on 11/16/2005. Dutton Associates does not accept payment of any of its fees in company stock. Its principals and analysts are prohibited from owning or trading in securities of covered companies. The views expressed in this research report accurately reflect the analyst's personal views about the subject securities or issuer. Neither the analyst's compensation nor the compensation received by us is in any way related to the specific ratings or views contained in this research report or note. Please read full disclosures, and analyst background at www.jmdutton.com before investing.