AbbVie (ABBV) is a global research-based pharmaceuticals business that emerged as a separate entity following its spin-off from Abbott Laboratories at the start of 2013. AbbVie is worth a look for the growth and income investors as it has a 4.2% dividend yield and a price target with 13% upside potential.
AbbVie’s most important product is Humira, an injectable biologic TNF (tumor necrosis factor) blocker treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and similar conditions, with sales of $9.3 billion in 2012, up from $7.9 billion in 2011.We estimate that Humira accounts for more than half of the global prescription pharmaceuticals market for rheumatoid arthritis. Besides moderate to severe RA in adults, Humira is also approved for eight other uses, including juvenile idiopathic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease in adults, juvenile Crohn’s disease and axial spondyloarthritis.
AbbVie’s strategic objectives include expanding Humira’s sales through greater penetration of emerging markets, increased emphasis on earlier diagnosis of autoimmune patients, and new indications. ABBV also plans to advance its R&D pipeline through internal development or through collaborations and licensing agreements. From 2013 through 2016, the company plans to launch five significant new products. The company also plans to maximize efficiency by streamlining the supply chain and optimizing residual value when products near the end of exclusivity.
In January 2013, ABT said that global sales of branded drugs that now belong to ABBV rose 7.4% to$5.14 billionin Q4, topping the$4.8 billionestimate of Wells Fargo analysts. Sales of Humira, ABBV’s leading product, increased 23% to$2.68 billion, about$200 millionabove Wells Fargo’s estimate.
The company estimated 2013 adjusted earnings at $3.03 to $3.13 a share, while analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect $3.08 a share. Abbott had previously said fourth-quarter sales of Humira jumped 23% to $2.68 billion. AbbVie said it expects the drug’s sales to increase by a low double-digit percentage in 2013. The company also said it plans to initiate several Phase III programs this year, including atrasentan for diabetic kidney disease and ABT-199 in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
The stock is reasonably priced with a current PE of 11.6 compared to an industry PE of 19.7. AbbVie has a 12-month target price of $43 applies a modest premium to peers P/E of 13.4X to our $3.20 EPS estimate for 2014. The $1.60 annual dividend presently yields 4.2%.We think ABBV’s $7.2 billion cash position enables it to do accretive acquisitions and stock repurchases. ABBV has an equity summary score of 9.9 out of 10 for a Very Bullish outlook.
The board of directors of AbbVie declared a quarterly cash dividend and also authorized a share repurchase program of up to $1.5 billion of the Company’s outstanding common stock. The cash dividend of $0.40 per share is payable May 15, 2013 to stockholders of record at the close of business on April 15, 2013. AbbVie was named to the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index, which tracks companies that have annually increased their dividend for at least 25 consecutive years. AbbVie was included as a result of the Index’s change in its treatment of spin-off companies.