23.08.2019 18:30

Why Alexion Makes Sense As A Target, But Amgen Doesn't As A Buyer

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) is likely "on the radar" as a takeover candidate, but biotech company Amgen (AMGN) doesn't fit logically as an acquirer, says one analyst.XSpanish news site reported Thursday that Amgen could be nearing a deal to buy Alexion for $200 a share. Although the price tag makes sense, Amgen as a buyer doesn't, SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges said in a report to clients.The top biotech company seems to be fully committed to oncology, neurology and immunology, Porges said. Alexion, on the other hand, specializes in rare diseases. Alexion is a rare asset with no competitive, regulatory, operational or manufacturing challenges in sight, he said.In the last 18 months, such considerations drove large biotech takeovers. Porges noted Takeda Pharmaceutical's (TAK) acquisition of Shire, as well as pending buyouts of Celgene (CELG) and Allergan (AGN) by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and AbbVie (ABBV), respectively. The same could be true for Alexion, he said."We see Alexion as a prime candidate for generating positive results based on these considerations, and in our view its recent price should be 'on the radar screen' for many large acquirers," he said.Could Alexion Stock Be Taken Over?On the stock market today, Alexion stock tumbled 6.6%, to 115.33. Amgen stock also fell 2.1%, to 199.08. On Thursday, following the report, Alexion stock popped 7.5% as Amgen stock lost a fraction.Alexion "is a highly attractive, fungible, accretive asset that is likely to be materially more valuable in the hands of a diversified company than it is alone," Porges said.The biotech company makes Soliris, a treatment for several rare diseases of the blood, muscles, optic nerve and spinal cord. In addition to several other drugs, Alexion also gained approval for a next-generation form of Soliris, dubbed Ultomiris, in a blood disease.There are no competitive, regulatory, operational or manufacturing surprises pending that could disrupt Alexion, Porges said. Diversified biotech companies like that tend to have durable sales and cash flow. As a result, he expects Alexion stock could command a premium."We believe there is a desperate scarcity of such assets across the industry, and for this reason, investors should anticipate a hefty premium, if a genuine acquirer materializes," he said. "However, we don't think that Amgen is the most logical such acquirer."Biotech Company Amgen Has A Different FocusAmgen's biggest product is blockbuster drug Enbrel, which treats forms of arthritis and psoriasis."Amgen has eschewed rare disease businesses and products, and seems to have fully committed themselves to their strategic business areas of oncology, neurology and immunology," he said. "Of course Amgen could change course, and Alexion is an extremely rare asset in the industry today."The biggest biotech company is actually planning to swipe some of Alexion's sales with a biosimilar version of Soliris. Amgen is currently in a Phase 3 study of its copycat drug. That's partly why Alexion created Ultomiris — to help lessen the impact of biosimilars when Soliris's patents expire.If interested, Amgen would have to cough up at least 150-200 per share of Alexion stock, he said. Porges noted the average premium over 30-day average share price in the deals for Shire, Celgene and Allergan was 54%. That could put the offer for Alexion stock in the range of 165-190 a share."Most likely, given recent premiums and the scarcity of Alexion's size, profitability and growth profile, a price of about 200 per share (or higher) would be required in our view to close the deal," he said.Porges kept his outperform rating on Alexion stock.Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:Should You Buy Pharma Giant Merck? Here's What Earnings, Merck Stock Chart SayWhy Analysts Are Upbeat On Sarepta Despite A Notable FDA RejectionRun Custom Stock Screens With MarketSmithWatch IBD's Investing Strategies Show For Actionable Market InsightsLooking For The Next Big Stock Market Winners? Start With These 3 StepsThe post Why Alexion Makes Sense As A Target, But Amgen Doesn't As A Buyer appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.
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21.05.2019Amgen Sector PerformRBC Capital Markets
15.03.2019Amgen OutperformBMO Capital Markets
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30.01.2019Amgen NeutralJP Morgan Chase & Co.
17.01.2019Amgen Sector PerformRBC Capital Markets
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17.01.2019Amgen buyGoldman Sachs Group Inc.
08.12.2018Amgen buyGoldman Sachs Group Inc.
04.12.2018Amgen buyGoldman Sachs Group Inc.
04.12.2018Amgen overweightMorgan Stanley
21.05.2019Amgen Sector PerformRBC Capital Markets
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15.11.2012Amgen verkaufenHamburger Sparkasse AG (Haspa)
31.07.2012Amgen verkaufenHamburger Sparkasse AG (Haspa)
01.02.2012Amgen verkaufenHamburger Sparkasse AG (Haspa)
20.12.2011Amgen verkaufenHamburger Sparkasse AG (Haspa)
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