Swiss company Novartis (NYSE: NVS) received an order for $346 million for antigen and $343.8 million for adjuvant totalling $690 million in July. Currently, Novartis is building a vaccine facility in Holly Springs and is hiring right now for validating the buildings and getting them up and running. So there are plenty of jobs created from their vaccine business and profits to come. Validation of buildings and facilities can be a pain-staking process but I expect them up and running by late 2009 Q4, if not sooner.
Current trading for Novartis is up around the 44-46 range. This is from their low point earlier this year with the global economic downturn, where their stock was trading around their 52 week low of 33.34. Their 52 week high is 56.23. It achieved this level twice in August 2008 and November 2006. So they are about midway to their highpoint and that is good news. I really don't see why a year from now they wouldn't be trading in the 60 point range again if not sooner. They have a healthy order of 690 million from the US government and are the striving to be the top vaccine maker in their sector.
What I like most about Novartis is that they have 337 open studies actively recruiting patients according to ClinicalTrials.gov. This is where their future lies. According to their website Novartis.com they have 155 projects in various stages of clinical trial. Here is a link to their 2009 and >2012 Novartis Pipeline. Most importantly, there are over 40 biologic molecules in the Novartis pipeline, and Novartis Biologics is growing. Roughly, 25% of their pipeline is in biologics. This is healthy for profits and for Novartis' future.
August 17, 2009 found FDA approval for the drug Extavia® (interferon beta-1b), the first in a new planned portfolio of multiple sclerosis (MS) medicines from Novartis to help patients manage this devastating disease. Extavia will be available to patients in the US this fall. The European Union has already approved Extavia in 12 countries.
Looking over their financials they are in good shape for the future. Most importantly, they own Sandoz, their $7.6 billion in 2008 sales Generic drug manufacturer. This is key for the future as many drugs are expiring and entering the generics market. They have a current market cap of 103Billion and 2Q 2009 profits of 2.044 billion and earnings of 0.90 per share. This wasn't as high as expected due to the fall in the dollar. Read more about the second quarter prospectus here: Novartis Q2 2009 Report. Although the global economic crisis was going on Novartis increased sales in various sectors. Most impressive sales included the oncology market and Diovan, a high blood pressure medication. Full sales data for Novartis can be found here for 2008: Novartis Product Sales
Gleevec/Glivec (USD 1.9 billion, +15% lc), a targeted therapy for certain forms of chronic myeloid leukemia(CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), has achieved sustained double-digit growth based on its leadership position in treating these cancers backed by new clinical data and regulatory approvals. Glivec received European regulatory approval in May 2009 as a post-surgery (adjuvant setting) therapy for GIST following Swiss (February 2009) and US (December 2008) approvals.
So I really like the future and growth of Novartis. At their mid range of 45.49, I see it as a buy with long-term potential and plenty of room to grow for the future.