Eli Lilly: A 140-Year Vision

12/20/2016 8:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Todd Shaver

Founder and Editor-in-Chief, BullMarket.com

Our latest recommendation is a storied franchise that was founded in 1876 to create high-quality medicines during an era of unreliable elixirs, explains Todd Shaver, editor of BullMarket.

More than 140 years later, Eli Lilly (LLY) remains committed to this vision. Lilly introduced the world’s first commercial insulin in 1923. To this day, the company continues to develop new treatments for diabetes.

In bio-medicines, the company’s talent pool is working to deliver new therapies that will shift the frontiers of medicine –- specifically in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease, immunology, and pain.

Lilly Oncology research is focused in three key areas – tumor cell signaling, micro-environment, and immuno-oncology.

The stock has been weak after announcing disappointing Phase III data for Solanezumab for Alzheimer’s.

The good news is that Lilly has been significantly pumping R&D into Alzheimer development and most analysts still expect Lilly to have a top portfolio in the space over time.

Now is an opportunistic time to buy. Sentiment is at a low due to failed trials in the Alzheimer portfolio, but this part of the franchise still has favorable long term prospects.

Meanwhile, Jardiance was recently approved to reduce cardiovascular death in adults with type 2 diabetes. This and other drugs offer near-term opportunity.

The business is expected to deliver 5% revenue growth and mid-teens EPS growth through 2020.

The dividend yield is 3.0%. The stock is trading at just 17x the consensus 2017 EPS outlook, which is roughly a 30% discount to its peers.

The balance sheet is solid with low debt to total capital of less than 30%. R&D is running steady around $5 billion. The stock at current levels is a compelling long-term value.

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