AbbVie (ABBV 1.93%), a large-cap Dividend Aristocrat, saw its shares lose an eye-popping 18.1% of their value over the course of October, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Why did investors run for cover?
Despite an exceptionally strong year for the drugmaker in terms of both earnings and progress on the clinical front, AbbVie simply couldn't shake off the market's dire outlook toward biopharma in general last month. The underlying reason is the growing concern among investors that President Trump's trade war with China will ultimately result in lower profits for the industry as a whole.
AbbVie's shares were hit particularly hard in October because the company is in the process of trying to reassure investors about its long-term growth outlook. The backstory is that AbbVie's flagship arthritis medication Humira is set to start facing biosimilar competition (copycat drugs) in Europe soon, which has been weighing on the drugmaker's stock for the better part of 2018.
Is AbbVie's stock now a bargain? At 10 times forward-looking earnings, bargain hunters may indeed want to snap up some shares of this top-notch biopharma stock soon. Since becoming an independent entity in 2013, AbbVie has raised its dividend at one of the fastest rates in the industry, and has outpaced most of its peers in terms of top-line growth as well. And with several new products like the endometriosis pain medication Orilissa coming, AbbVie should be able to continue delivering impress levels of top-line growth and income for investors for a long time to come.