Editor’s note: This article is part of InvestorPlace.com’s Best Stocks for 2020 contest. Matt McCall’s pick for the contest is Aimmune Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AIMT).
Six months ago, I introduced you to Aimmune Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AIMT) as my pick in the Best Stocks for 2020 contest. It’s a leading biopharmaceutical that focuses specifically on the unmet needs of people who suffer from food allergies.
The recommendation was in anticipation of the approval of its lead drug candidate. That worked out just as expected. Aimmune’s treatment for peanut allergies got the green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January.
That was — and still is — a very big deal. Palforzia is the first-ever treatment for peanut allergies, and its approval sent the stock to a fresh one-year high.
And then the novel coronavirus hit…
The first patients were given Palforzia after the January approval, but for all intents and purposes, the rollout of this one-of-a-kind treatment came to a screeching halt. As federal and local governments implemented stay-at-home orders, allergy sufferers were forced to forgo treatments.
The Coronavirus Derails AIMT Stock
The healthcare system’s full attention was on preparing for what some experts feared would be a flood of patients hitting hospitals. All elective surgeries and treatments came to a halt to focus on Covid-19.
It did not make sense to have generally healthy allergy patients come to a doctor’s office and potentially contract or unknowingly spread the virus. Peanut allergy patients have dealt with the issue for their entire lives, so apart from true emergency situations, it was not considered a critical treatment during a pandemic.
Still, Palforzia is a much-needed breakthrough. As widespread as food allergies are, they’ve gotten very little attention from pharmaceutical companies. It’s surprising to me that the first FDA-approved preventative treatment for peanut allergies just occurred five months ago, but it puts Palforzia in a great spot.
According to Reportbuyer, Aimmune could have 67% of the peanut allergy market by 2027 — equal to $3 billion. That’s a huge number for a company that has yet to generate any revenue and has a current market value of $1.1 billion.
The drug is also a little more complicated than some others. Each patient receives small amounts of peanut protein through several visits to the allergist’s office. They need to be closely monitored to assure there are no adverse side effects.
Under normal circumstances, a few trips to the allergist to cure a potentially deadly reaction would be a godsend. However, when in the midst of a global pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 people, even something as serious as a peanut allergy may not sound so bad. In addition, when allergy sufferers stay home, they can distance themselves from potential triggers.
A Return to Normal Will Boost Aimmune Higher
But countries and states are starting to reopen and life will soon return to something resembling normal. As it does, and kids go back to school while adults go back to offices and traveling, the risk of a potentially deadly peanut allergy becomes top of mind again.
As of today and likely for the foreseeable future, Aimmune will have the only treatment available for peanut allergies.
That’s huge. And it gives Palforzia the potential to be a billion-dollar blockbuster. According to Evaluate Pharma, the drug could bring in $1.28 billion in annual sales by 2024. For a company that generated basically no sales last year, that would be a monumental achievement.
Aimmune officially announced Palforzia’s delay in May. At the same time, the company also said that its supply chain has not been affected and that once the stay-at-home orders are lifted, it will be ready to supply the allergists with products. The supply chain for ongoing trials is also unaffected as the company continues to push forward with testing new treatments.
Keeping Our Eye on the Big Picture
Due to the delay in Palforzia’s rollout, revenue expectations for this year have dropped 36% from $30 million to $19 million. Next year, the treatment should be able to expand, with revenue projected to jump 4x to $130 million. That number continues to more than double annually until reaching the $1 billion milestone in 2024.
By that time, earnings should be close to $6 per share — a world away from the loss of $3.97 in 2019. Some estimates are as high as $10.92 for 2024.
With those numbers in mind, let’s put a valuation on Aimmune. Considering the robust growth of both revenue and earnings, which is all but inevitable, it is justified to assume the stock could trade at 5x sales and 30x earnings.
At five times sales of $1.28 billion, Aimmune would have a value of $6.4 billion, or $97 per share. That’s a 470% gain from current prices.
And if Aimmune were to trade at 30x earnings of $6 per share, it would reach $180 — or 960% above where it trades right now.
Splitting the difference gets us to $138.50, a gain of 715% from the current price around $17.
Of course, all of this is assuming that life gets back to normal. If I am wrong and life does not return to normal, there are far greater concerns than peanut allergies. I put the odds of this at basically zero. The reason I am so confident is that the U.S. and the world have recovered from even worse situations for thousands of years.
We can defeat the Covid-19 pandemic, just like all other crises that came before it.
Best Stocks: Buy AIMT Stock Right Now
Aimmune has received several analyst downgrades since the start of the pandemic because of Palforzia’s delay. Analysts are taking a very short-term view on the stock, even though they remain bullish long term.
And this gives investors a great buying opportunity.
The unfortunate fact is that peanut allergies are not going anywhere. They will still exist once the pandemic passes. And as restrictions loosen up, demand for Palforzia will boom. Other investors are looking ahead to this yet, which makes Aimmune an incredibly compelling opportunity at current prices.
With a market cap of $1.1 billion and projected sales of the drug expected to be in that same ballpark, this stock is flat-out cheap.
Matthew McCall left Wall Street to actually help investors — by getting them into the world’s biggest, most revolutionary trends BEFORE anyone else. The power of being “first” gave Matt’s readers the chance to bank +2,438% in Stamps.com (STMP), +1,523% in Ulta Beauty (ULTA) and +1,044% in Tesla (TSLA), just to name a few. Click here to see what Matt has up his sleeve now. Matt does not directly own the aforementioned securities.