Gilead Sciences Stock Soars on Sales Forecast

Shares of Gilead Sciences jumped to an all-time high on Thursday after the biotechnology company said 2007 sales would rise as much as 35% and analysts raised their price targets on the shares.

Lazard Capital Markets analyst Joel Sendak boosted his Gilead price target to $87 from $76, citing an impressive fourth quarter and an even better outlook for 2007 "as strong
sales and earnings per share growth continue."

Sendek, who maintained his "buy" rating on the shares, also noted the strength of Gilead's "blossoming" pipeline, telling clients in a research note that the company has four drugs in
late-stage trials or undergoing regulatory review for four different diseases.

Gilead on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings that handily topped Wall Street expectations, fueled by a 67% jump in sales of its HIV drugs, and said it expected overall
2007 sales of $3.4 billion to $3.5 billion, up 31% to 35% from 2006.

Sanford Bernstein analyst Geoffrey Porges raised his price target on Gilead shares to $88 from $81 and maintained an "outperform" rating on the stock, saying Gilead was "firing on
all cylinders."

"This is a remarkably well run company and it is striking how consistently they beat expectations," Porges said.

"They are normally very cautious in their guidance and yesterday they actually provided guidance that was significantly above Street consensus expectations," he said.