Biotech stocks have a reputation for risk. But not all biotechs are small-cap stocks without any products on the market. And not all biotech stocks act as glorified lottery tickets.
Many more established biotech stocks exist that have built drug pipelines and revenue streams. With these pipelines and revenue streams, analysts are able to predict potential profits for years to come. There are still established biotechs that trade at low valuations, however. Since drug trials often fail and competitors can beat drugs to market, risk is inherent in the sector. But not all risk is equal.
These 5 biotechs have proven records of profit to fall back on as well as promise for the future, yet they still trade at reasonable valuations:
Low-Cost Biotech Stocks With High Growth: AbbVie ABBV)
Few biotech stocks find themselves in the buy position enjoyed by AbbVie (NASDAQ:ABBV). Founded in 2013 as a spinoff from Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), AbbVie currently holds the patent on the world’s best-selling drug, Humira. Although Humira will likely face competition outside of the U.S., both newly-approved drugs and medications in the pipeline appear poised to fuel the growth of ABBV stock. The company recently gained approval on new drugs for cancer, hepatitis C and endometriosis. Other immunology and cancer drugs could also gain approval soon. AbbVie enjoys the second-best pipeline regarding value creation in the industry, according to Evaluate Pharma.
Earnings have also impressed. Last quarter, the company reported earnings of $2 per share, beating estimates by three cents per share and showing a substantial increase from the $1.42 per share earned in the same quarter last year. Revenues of $8.28 billion also beat estimates and increased 19.3% on a year-over-year basis. Moreover, analysts predict that net income will grow by an average of 16.1% per year over the next five years. If predicted earnings this year hold at $7.86 per share, ABBV stock will trade at a 12.3 P/E ratio.
If earnings growth did not serve as enough of an incentive to buy, investors should look at dividends. In February, AbbVie’s board authorized a 35% dividend increase. Shareholders now receive an annual dividend of $3.84 per share. This amounts to a yield of just under 4%. With a robust drug pipeline, high growth prospects, a low P/E ratio, and a generous dividend, few large caps give an investor more reasons to buy than ABBV stock.
Low-Cost Biotech Stocks With High Growth: Celgene (CELG)
Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) finds itself in recovery mode. CELG stock lost nearly half of its value between October and May. Seeing a late-stage drug fail in testing and the bungling of a regulatory filing weighed on the stock. However, CELG stock could now be a lucrative bargain for investors.
Despite approval setbacks, analysts see a lot of potential coming from its pipeline. Evaluate Pharma believes they have the third-best drug pipeline for value creation in biotech. Drugs such as Pomalyst and Otezla have also shown robust growth.
As for CELG stock, it began moving higher in May. Despite the stock price increasing by over 20%, the forward P/E stands at just above 12. Furthermore, revenues from the previous quarter came in at $3.8 billion. Despite the company’s setbacks over the last year, Celgene increased its revenue by 17% year-over-year. The company also reported a net income of $1.46 per share, seven cents per share higher than the same quarter a year ago.
Wall Street believes this slower earnings growth will prove temporary. They forecast 17.6% growth for the current year. This takes the price-to-earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratio to 0.69. This is about half the long-term PEG of the S&P 500. Analysts also believe the stock will see an average growth rate of over 19.2% per year for the next five years. While this stock has seen its setbacks, the company’s PEG ratio and its pipeline create the potential for new investors to profit from CELG stock.
Low-Cost Biotech Stocks With High Levels of Growth: Jazz (JAZZ)
Jazz (NASDAQ:JAZZ) specializes in drugs that address unmet medical needs. JAZZ was a penny stock during the 2008 financial crisis, but is now valued at about $10.7 billion.
Xyrem, Jazz’s narcolepsy drug, makes up the majority of its revenue. Newer drugs, Erwinaze, Defitelio and Vyxeos have taken an increasing share of the company’s revenue. Moreover, with the older patents on Xyrem expiring, Jazz has filed applications to patent supplementals of that same drug. Several other narcolepsy drugs have reached phase 2 and phase 3 trials.
These drugs have driven company revenues higher. In the second quarter, Jazz saw $500 million in sales, a 26.8% increase from last year. Profits for the quarter of $3.49 beat analyst estimates by 22 cents per share. For the year, Wall Street forecasts $13.12 per share in income. This is up 18.8% from the $11.04 per share level seen in the previous year. Estimated revenue of $1.92 billion is also expected to see an 18.5% increase from a year earlier. This pace should slow only modestly as analysts predict average net income growth of 15.2% per year over the next five years.
Among biotech stocks, the valuation for JAZZ stock also appears favorable. This brings the forward P/E to about 13.5 and the PEG ratio to 0.89. This PEG ratio may not come in as low as it has for some companies. However, investors need to keep in mind the small size of this company. With its $10.7 billion market cap, JAZZ stock should be positioned to maintain its double-digit growth rate for some time to come.
Low-Cost Biotech Stocks With High Levels of Growth: Regeneron (REGN)
Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN) is one of the biotech stocks that has enjoyed massive growth over the last few years. Since hitting a low of just under $12 per share in 2009, Regeneron has remade itself into a large-cap biotech trading at $376 per share. This $39.5 billion company has become of a leading producer of new drugs that fight eye disease, cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and inflammation issues.
The majority of its revenue comes from Eylea, its drug to treat macular degeneration. With this patent expiring in 2020, the focus turns to new medicines. For now, Dupixent is the only drug generating over $200 million in quarterly revenue. However, analysts have high hopes for Kevzara, a rheumatoid arthritis drug developed in a partnership with Sanofi (NYSE:SNY). Kevzara received FDA approval last year. Currently, the company has six drugs in its phase 3 trial that will treat diseases ranging from non-small cell lung cancer to chronic lower-back pain to LDL cholesterol reduction.
Earnings grew by 44.2% last year. Analysts expect earnings growth to slow to 14.2% this year. In its latest earnings report, REGN stock reported second-quarter earnings of $5.45 per share. Wall Street had expected $4.70 per share, and the company earned $4.17 per share in the same quarter last year. This represented a 30.7% year-over-year increase in profits.
Despite the coming patent expiration on Eylea, analysts expect REGN earnings to remain in the double-digits for some time to come. Wall Street forecasts average earnings growth of 10% per year for the next five years. Assuming investors can handle the uncertainty in its transition away from Eylea, the company should be well-positioned to continue the high growth it has enjoyed over the last few years.
Low-Cost Biotech Stocks With High Levels of Growth: Supernus (SUPN)
Those who like small-cap biotech stocks that could grow into mid or large caps should look at Supernus (NASDAQ:SUPN). Supernus has enjoyed success in discovering treatments for conditions of the central nervous system. This Rockville, Maryland-based biotech firm has found success selling only two drugs. Despite its small portfolio, the stock has risen more than eightfold since its IPO in 2012. Between its current drugs and its treatments in the pipeline, SUPN stock could generate outsized returns for many years.
As mentioned earlier, Supernus sells only two drugs. One is Trokendi XR, a treatment for epilepsy and migraine prevention. Its other drug, Oxtellar XR, acts as an add-on treatment for partial seizures. The company also has six potential in various phases of testing. Two ADHD drugs have made it to the phase 3 trial.
These treatments have brought SUPN stock high returns. Over the past five years, the company averaged growth of 67.8% per year. Analysts expect the growth to slow only modestly. Analysts predict 54% growth for 2018. They expect the company to still average 31% growth per year over the next five years.
Predicted profits of $1.99 per share this year bring the forward P/E to 21.2. However, 54% profit growth takes the PEG ratio to only 0.39. Also, keep in mind that the market cap is just $2.3 billion. Stocks such as Regeneron traded at these levels only a few years ago on their way to becoming large-cap stocks. If this growth keeps up, Supernus could find itself on the path to becoming a large-cap stock itself. If one can handle the risk of the small drug portfolio, they open themselves up to buying a substantial amount of potential growth at a very low price with SUPN stock.
As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting.