Market Cap: $137 billion
Current Dividend Yield: 3.7%
Patent expirations have been a real problem for pharmaceuticals in recent years — and Paris-based Sanofi (SNY) has felt its share of pain on that front, particularly after its clot-busting drug Plavix went off patent two years ago.
More recently, the FDA delayed the launch of SNY’s multiple-sclerosis drug Lemtrada; the company plans to resubmit that application in the second quarter. That said, SNY’s blockbuster diabetes drug Lantus racked up $7.5 billion in sales last year alone and sales have grown by double-digit rates over the past couple of years.
Although Sanofi faces a patent cliff on the drug as early as next year, U300 is in late-stage clinical trials and has demonstrated even greater success in controlling blood sugar levels — particularly at night. SNY also is making a major play for emerging markets: most notably Africa.
Sanofi already has had a rough start to 2014, losing nearly 11% between Jan.1 and Feb. 6. Although the stock has recovered that lost ground in the past seven weeks, SNY still looks affordable, trading at just 13 times forward earnings.