Tag Archives: healthcare

Can Teva’s Short-Term Pressure Be Justified? [Seeking Alpha]

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) is the world’s largest generic pharmaceutical manufacturer with operations in 60 countries. Teva’s outlook remains bright from the long-term perspective; however, investors need to be aware of the short-term pressures faced by TEVA.

Management Update

Strong Return for Shareholders

In 2012, Teva’s board increased its quarterly dividend by 15%, and the company had repurchased about $0.5 billion of stock in Q4 for a total of around $1.2B in 2012. Over $2 billion (58% of free cash flow) was returned to shareholders in 2012 through dividends and share repurchases.

Management Strategy

The management continues to emphasize on profitability and sustainable profitable growth by leveraging an aggressive business development strategy to build a robust pipeline and expand the company’s core franchises.

Growth Driver

Copaxone continues to lead the market in sales and market share with $4 billion in annual sales of approximately $1.1 billion for Q4. Despite the potential approval and launch of the competitive product in the multiple sclerosis space, the management expects Copaxone to maintain its market leadership position. However, investors need to be aware that Copaxone will lose patent protection in 2015. More competitions are expected from other MS drugs, such as like Novartis (NVS)’s approved Gilenya and Biogen Idec (BIIB)’s BG-12, which is currently under review.

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AbbVie’s Humira Success, Strong Pipeline Make It A Buy [Seeking Alpha]

AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company with strong exposure to immunology and cardiovascular diseases. AbbVie was formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories (ABT). ABBV was up 2.41% and closed at $37.81 on March 1, 2013. ABBV had been trading in the range of $32.51-$39.13 in the past 52 weeks. ABBV had been outperforming ABT (+2.60%) and the S&P 500 index (+6.45%) YTD with 10.68% gain.

Source: Google Finance

Share Repurchase

On February 15, 2013, AbbVie had authorized a share repurchase program of up to $1.5B of the company’s outstanding common stock. At the current price of $37.81, up to 39-40 million of common shares will be repurchased. ABBV currently has a total outstanding share in the amount of 1.58B with a market cap of $59.77B.

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3 Solid, Low Beta Biotechnology Stocks To Buy On Dip [Seeking Alpha]

In this articles, three solid, large-cap biotechnology stocks with strong fundamentals are presented, including Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD), Amgen Inc. (AMGN), and Celgene Corporation (CELG). All three stocks have a strong ROE and a low beta and are great long-term holdings.

Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Gilead Sciences, Inc., with a market cap of $63.78B, is a research-based biopharmaceutical company, which develops and markets therapies to treat life-treating infectious diseases with the core portfolio focused on HIV, liver diseases, such as hepatitis B and C, and cardiovascular/metabolic and respiratory conditions. GILD was down 0.85% and closed at $42.09 on February 25, 2013. GILD had been trading in the range of $22.33-$43.35 in the past 52 weeks. GILD has a very low beta of 0.46.

On February 19, 2013, Credit Suisse upgraded GILD from Neutral to Outperform. Analysts have a mean target of $46.96 and a median target price of $46.00 for GILD. Analysts are expecting an EPS of $0.50 with revenue of $2.57B for the current quarter ending in March, 2013. For 2013, analysts are predicting an EPS of $2.02 with revenue of $10.59B, which is 9.20% higher than 2012.

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Walgreen: Sales Growth Continues With Focused Strategies [Seeking Alpha]

Walgreen Company (WAG) is the nation’s largest retail pharmacy with 8,524 locations in the United States. WAG went ex-dividend on February 13, 2013 with a cash dividend of $0.275 per share, payable on March 12, 2013. WAG had gained 12% YTD as of February 13, 2013. In this article, recent developments will be updated for WAG and the current options play will be reviewed.

Recent Highlights

Strategic growth drivers: As stated by WAG’s president and CEO, Greg Wasson, Walgreen is focused on creating a complete Well Experience for its customers and transforming the role played by community pharmacy in health care. The combination of Walgreen and Alliance Boots will accelerate WAG’s core strategies. Wasson also outlined fiscal 2016 financial goals (assuming a full combination with Alliance Boosts) to have sales of $130B or greater, adjusted operating income of $9-$9.5B or $8.5-$9B on a GAAP basis, $1B in combined synergies, and operating cash flow of $8B or more.

Increasing sales: WAG had January sale of $6.15B, an increase of 6.3 percent from $5.78B for the same month in fiscal 2012. The percentage of Express Scripts (ESRX) customers filling prescriptions in WAG’s pharmacies continued to increase in January. Pharmacy sales in January increased by 8.7 percent while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 6.2 percent. Registration for Balance Rewards loyalty program totaled nearly 55 million.

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Teva And Pfizer: 2 Solid Pharmaceutical Companies For Healthcare Portfolio [Seeking Alpha]

In this article, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Pfizer Inc. will be analyzed for their recent developments in this article. A quick fundamental and technical analysis will also be reviewed for both stocks.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) is the world’s largest generic pharmaceutical manufacturer with operations in 60 countries. The company has a pharmaceutical business, whose principal products include Copaxone and Azilect. Teva’s active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) business provides vertical integration to Teva’s own pharmaceutical production. TEVA closed at $38.68 with 1.90% increase on February 8, 2013. TEVA had been trading in the range of $36.63-$46.38 in the past 52 weeks. TEVA has a low beta of 0.36.

Q4 2012 Earnings and 2013 Outlook

On February 7, 2013, TEVA reported Q4 2012 earnings of $1.32 per American Depositary Share (ADS), a penny short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate and 17% below the year-ago earnings. Q4 revenue also declined 7.5% to $5.25B, missing Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.27B. Full year 2012 earnings came in at $5.35 per ADS, a penny below the Zacks Consensus Estimate but 7.6% above 2011 earnings. Full year revenues increased 10.9% to $20.32B, shy of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $20.33B, as reported by Zacks.

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Merck Is Still A Long-Term Hold Despite Tredaptive Suspension [Seeking Alpha]

Merck & Co Inc. (MRK) is a global health care company that makes pharmaceutical products to treat conditions in a number of therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular disease, asthma, infections, and osteoporosis. MRK had greatly improved its long-term outlook by acquiring Schering-Plough in 2009. MRK closed at $42.82 with a 0.88% loss on Wednesday. Since our last article of “Merck – How To Play This ‘Patent Cliff’ With Options,” MRK slightly decreased 1.97% from $43.68 on November 13, 2012. This article will update the developments and review the options strategy for MRK.

Recent Developments

On January 18, Europe’s regulator has confirmed the suspension of Merck & Co’s cholesterol drug Tredaptive in Europe after its failure in a major study. Merck already announced that it is taking Tredaptive off the market based on preliminary data from a long term safety study. While Tredaptive (also known as Pelzont and Trevaclyn) is not approved in the US, it is approved in 70 countries and available in 40 countries across the world and approved in 70 countries. According to Zacks’ report..

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Top 2 Bullish Stocks On Friday: Pfizer And Coca-Cola [Seeking Alpha]

Friday’s market sentiment was driven by extreme greed with Fear & Greed Index at 89, which had increased from the previous closing of 86. As reported by CBOE, the total put/call ratio for Friday was 0.75. The index put/call ratio was 0.77, and the equity put/call ratio was 0.54. The CBOE volatility index (VIX) put/call ratio was 0.38. In the following, top stocks had been identified through our daily options scanning process, with the scanning criteria where the daily call volume ratio was above 2.00 (2x of the average call volume) with a call volume above 10,000.

Name (Ticker) Call Volume Average Call Volume Daily Volume Ratio
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) 34,018 16,585 2.05
The Coca-Cola Company (KO) 28,928 8,607 3.36

Source: Schaeffer’s Research

Unusual option activities can be an indicator or precursor of a major movement for the underlying stock. This article will try to identify the bullish factors for Pfizer Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company.

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Humira Will Help AbbVie Prevail, A Great Buy With Low Valuation [Seeking Alpha]

AbbVie is here to improve our lives as its name implies. “The beginning of the name connects the new company to Abbott and its heritage of pioneering science,” said Mr. Richard A. Gonzalez, the chairman and CEO of AbbVie. “The ‘vie’ calls attention to the vital work the company will continue to advance to improve the lives of people around the world.”

AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) is a research-based pharmaceuticals company with strong exposure to immunology and cardiovascular diseases. AbbVie was spun off from Abbot Laboratories (ABT) and was listed on the NYSE on January 2, 2013, with an opening price of $34.92. As stated by the company, “AbbVie has nearly $18 billion in annual revenue today and will have a sustainable portfolio of market-leading brands, including Humira, Lupron, Synagis, Kaletra, Creon and Synthroid. An attractive pipeline of innovative R&D assets – in important specialty therapeutic areas such as Hepatitis C, immunology, chronic kidney disease, women’s health, oncology and neuroscience – will help drive future growth.” ABBV’s top drug, Humira, accounts for more than 50% of the company’s sales and 70% of profits. Humira, along with a portfolio of hard-to-make drugs, should drive strong cash flows to support the company’s next generation of pipeline drugs, which are unlikely to reach the market until 2015 while several midsized drugs are losing patent protection.

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