After a disappointing earnings report and an austere outlook for upcoming quarters, the latest blow came from the departure of CEO and Chairman Joseph Papa who will go on to join another beleaguered pharmaceutical player, Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
Is this the death knell for the specialty generic drugs company or can shareholders hope for a turnaround with a new leader at the helm? We examine whether Perrigo can turn things around or whether there are better places to put your money.
Papa decided to move on from the company not even six months after he convinced the stakeholders to vote against a hostile takeover bid of $26 billion by Mylan.
He cited "strong organic growth, a disciplined approach to M&A, and transparent, accessible corporate governance policies" as the strengths behind the business strategy and told shareholders that Perrigo had better prospects as a stand-alone company. Convinced by his argument, shareholders stayed away from the offer with only 40% of shares tendered, lesser than the requirement of 50% for the deal to go through.
However, in hindsight one wonders if not taking the Mylan deal was actually a mistake by Perrigo.
Since the failed takeover, Perrigo shares are down over 30%. At the time, Perrigo insisted that it should be valued at over 20 times its forecast earnings, valuing the stock at about $190 a share. The news of the CEO's exit resulted in a fresh round of selling, causing the stock to drop to under $100 a pop.
What ensued has been a spate of depressing growth estimates. Followed by a loss-making fourth quarter of 2015, Perrigo, burdened by legal expenses and a struggling consumer health care unit, lowered its full-year earnings outlook in February, to $9.50 to $9.80 per share from $9.50 to $10.10 earlier.
Barely two month later, the earnings range has been revised downwards yet again to $8.20 to $8.60 a share as the company battles competitive pressures in its prescription segment which would lead to lower pricing expectations.
The $4.5 billion Omega Pharma acquisition of 2015 has also not panned out the way Perrigo would have liked. And the pain is yet not over. The unit, which is now the consumer health-care business, is expected to face at least three more tough quarters with muted expectations from new product launches.
But is the market considering the latest 18% drop in stock prices as reason to stay away from the stock or reason to enter?
Not all analysts have written Perrigo's obituary yet and some even think that Perrigo is one of the better growth opportunities now available in this volatile market. A mean recommendation of 2.3 with 5 considered a Sell suggests that analysts have given a Hold rating to the stock.
In terms of stock price, a median estimate of 16 analysts suggest that the stock can hit $148.50 in the next 12 months, a potential upside of close to 50% from current levels.
Moreover, the plunge in stock prices have naturally brought down the valuation of Perrigo in comparison to its peers. At 9.77 times forward earnings, Perrigo is actually cheaper than Pfizer at 13.18 and Allergan at 12.94 times.
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After the struggle of the next couple of quarters ends, the company and analysts alike seem to be betting on Perrigo's Consumer Healthcare segment, the company's infant formulas and allergy medicines, and new product offerings, to drive revenue and profit growth.
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