Investing in newly public companies is often fraught with much more risk than finding stocks with longer trading histories. Not all companies with only a couple of months on the public markets are the same, though. Specialty drugmaker Warner Chilcott (Nasdaq: WCRX ) , which went public just last September, is no highly speculative IPO -- the company has been around for decades.
Warner Chilcott specializes in women's health care and dermatology pharmaceutical products, and it was most recently spun out of the former Warner Lambert back in 1996 before temporarily being taken private in a leveraged buyout in 2004. In less than three years, the buyers IPOed it again -- after saddling it with more than $2 billion in debt, in what some like to call a leveraged IPO.
Letting us have a glimpse of its future, Warner Chilcott gave financial guidance for 2007 on Friday. Revenue is expected to come in at $820 million to $840 million for the year, and this compares favorably to the $548 million it has earned in the first three quarters of 2006. It didn't break out sales guidance for its individual products, but reiterated that its Loestrin birth control pill and Taclonex/Dovonex psoriasis franchise would be the main revenue propellers for the year.
In 2006, Warner Chilcott got off to a good start reducing that debt load; the company had already brought it down to $1.55 billion by the end of the year with proceeds from the IPO. As long as earnings keep growing, bringing this debt down further shouldn't be a problem. Net income, adjusting for various costs, is expected to be anywhere from $225 million to $230 million next year, or $0.90-$0.92 a share. This range is pretty close to what analysts are expecting for next year, and more than 75% higher than what they expect Warner Chilcott to make this year.
As far as its pipeline goes, Warner has publicly mentioned two oral contraceptive products in the works. It has been pretty light on the details about its pipeline for competitive reasons, and it faces some tough competition from the likes of Barr Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: BRL ) , Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) , and Schering AG in the market for female health-care products. When fourth-quarter earnings numbers come out in March, we'll get a better idea of where Warner Chilcott stands today, but this is one IPO from last year that is still worth watching.
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Fool contributor Brian Lawler does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.