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Recent Deals, Pipeline Updates Setting Up AbbVie For Long-Term Growth

ABBV - Recent Deals, Pipeline Updates Setting Up AbbVie For Long-Term Growth

JPMorgan said AbbVie Inc ABBV 1.09% should benefit from recent acquisitions as well as pipeline updates over the long term, despite downgrading the stock to Neutral from Overweight on valuation.

"[G]iven the recent strength in shares, we believe AbbVie's profile is now better reflected at current valuations (13.4x 2016 EPS), see limited meaningful catalysts to drive shares higher in the near-term, and as a result are moving to the sidelines," analyst Chris Schott wrote in a note.

That said, Schott views Humira as a long-duration asset despite potential biosimilar competition in 2018. The analyst anticipates a $10+ billion Humira franchise for Abbvie through at least 2025.

"While it is possible Humira could see no or limited biosimilar competition through 2021/2022, we expect little clarity on potential outcomes over the next 12–18 months," Schott highlighted.

Meanwhile, the acquisitions of Pharmacyclics and Stemcentrx and a growing number of late-stage pipeline opportunities should help AbbVie to diversify from Humira.

"These long-term opportunities include but not limited to the potential expansion of Imbruvica in larger NHL (non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) indications in 2018, approval of ABT- 494 and risankizumab across different immunology indications in 2019 and the 2018 launch of the newly acquired Rova-T in advanced SCLC," Schott said.

"Overall, we see these products as multi-billion dollar opportunities, which should help diversify AbbVie away from Humira over time."

The analyst projects 2020 ex-Humira sales reaching $17 billion and continuing to grow from there, as compared to $11 billion in 2016.

Further, the analyst assumes mid-single-digit top-line CAGR and operating margin expansion from the low 40s in 2016 to about 50 percent in 2020.

Schott cut his price target by $2 to $73, while the stock is currently down 1.60 percent to $63.93.

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