Wednesday 6th of April 2022 09:16:37 AM

AbbVie wins Bullish views at Morgan Stanley on diversification plans amid threat to Humira

Abbvie vzphotos/iStock Editorial via Getty Images AbbVie (ABBV +2.6%) shares hit another record on Wednesday after Morgan Stanley resumed its coverage with an Overweight recommendation citing its diversification strategy ahead of the Humira patent cliff. The bullish views from the analyst Terence Flynn come at a time AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) is trading ~58% above its year-ago level, outperforming the broader market, as shown in this graph. The move also contrasts with the threat of Humira biosimilars, which the pharma giant will have to endure from next year following its loss of exclusivity in the U.S. However, Flynn notes that the company is in the middle of diversifying away from the blockbuster therapy with the launches of new immunology drugs Skyrizi and Rinvoq as well as its integration efforts for the Allergan business to build an aesthetics franchise. Last month, the U.S. regulators approved Rinvoq for certain patients with ulcerative colitis, and in January, Skyrizi was approved in the U.S. for psoriatic arthritis. “We anticipate that ABBV will continue to deliver on its diversification strategy - including commercialization of Skyrizi/Rinvoq/aesthetics and derisking its mid to late stage pipeline,” the analyst wrote. The company can deliver mid-single-digit revenue and EPS growth, Flynn projects, expecting its multiple to exceed 15x. In addition, the analyst thinks that AbbVie (ABBV) can continue to grow its dividends and delever to less than 2x net debt/EBITDA. The decision to acquire Allergan in 2019 prompted the company to raise up to $28 billion in debt to fund the buyout. The price target set to $192 per share implies a premium of ~18% to the last close. However, as a near-term risk to the stock, Flynn highlights the potential volatility on 2023 guidance as it will be the first year AbbVie (ABBV) will face Humira biosimilars in the U.S. Go through the latest valuation metrics for the stock.

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