For stock traders seeking thrills and excitement, the name Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) usually isn’t the first one that comes to mind. And to be honest, LLY stock is known as a safe dividend payer rather than a fast mover.
Still, don’t get the impression that Eli Lilly is a boring company. As the race to identify and market a successful novel coronavirus vaccine heats up, Eli Lilly is a key contender. The company’s vaccine candidate, known as LY-CoV555, holds great promise and could be a serious moneymaker for Eli Lilly and its stakeholders.
The company, in partnership with the University of North Carolina’s Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, is already looking forward to Phase 3 clinical trials for LY-CoV555.
That’s already quite encouraging, but there’s more to the story. This clinical trial, dubbed BLAZE-2, involves other key partners and a very unique angle. Not to give too much away, but it includes recreational vehicles.
Bet you didn’t expect that, did you? Keep reading to find out how an old drugmaker is testing some fresh and potentially lifesaving ideas.
A Closer Look at LLY Stock
As exciting as the BLAZE-2 program might be, there’s a strong case to be made that LLY stock is an ideal investment for volatility-averse investors. After all, the stock’s five-year monthly beta is 0.22, which indicates that LLY moves much slower than the broader stock market.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, by the way. The old saying that “slow and steady wins the race” is often true in the stock market. To that end, LLY stock offers an attractive annual forward dividend yield of 1.97%.
Plus, LLY stock has a reasonable trailing 12-month price-earnings ratio of 24.4. All in all, this stock is the type of “forever” holding where you can just buy it and leave it in your account for many years, collecting dividend payments along the way.
Besides, the LLY share price has retraced downward from its 52-week high of $170.75. This means that you can buy the stock at a discount, an opportunity which should appeal to value-seeking investors. That’s not boring; it’s just smart.
Can a company that’s been around since 1876 still be a cutting-edge innovator? We’re going to answer this question right now as Eli Lilly’s approach to Covid-19 vaccine development is like none other.
The company’s BLAZE-2 study involves a collaboration with the the COVID-19 Prevention Network as well as the National Institutes of Health. Additionally, Eli Lilly will be working with a number of long-term care facility networks in the U.S.
Involving as many as many as 2,400 participants, BLAZE-2 will test single doses of LY-CoV555. That’s a lot of participants, and getting them to travel to a central testing center wouldn’t necessarily be practical.
Clinical Trials on Wheels
Great innovators come up with novel solutions to problems like this. Thus, Eli Lilly is deploying customized “mobile research units” to bring the equipment and materials to the long-term care facilities:
“These units include a custom retrofitted recreational vehicle (RV) to support mobile labs and clinical trial material preparation, along with a trailer truck that will deliver all clinical trial supplies needed to create an on-site infusion clinic.”
Using recreational vehicles is an out-of-the-box idea that makes perfect sense here. Cutting-edge solutions aren’t always focused on the vaccine itself.
There are logistics involved as well, and Eli Lilly’s “mobile research units” could revolutionize health-care delivery even beyond Covid-19 vaccines.
Bottom Line on Eli Lilly Shares
So, the skeptics have a definite answer now. Even a company as old as Eli Lilly can solve problems through extraordinary creativity and innovation.
And as for “boring” LLY stock, the discovery of a revolutionary Covid-19 vaccine could make things very interesting, and profitable, for patient investors.
David Moadel has provided compelling content – and crossed the occasional line – on behalf of Crush the Street, Market Realist, TalkMarkets, Finom Group, Benzinga, and (of course) InvestorPlace.com. He also serves as the chief analyst and market researcher for Portfolio Wealth Global and hosts the popular financial YouTube channel Looking at the Markets. As of this writing, David Moadel did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.