Most longtime investors would tell you that the stock market is anything but cheap right now. That's to be expected after a bull market that's now gone on 10 years and counting.
But there are still some bargains to be found. Three stocks that appear to be quite attractively priced are AbbVie (ABBV 1.75%), Celgene (CELG), and DaVita (DVA 1.17%). Here's why these are bargain stocks you can buy today.
Big drugmaker AbbVie's shares trade at less than nine times expected earnings. The stock is priced at a discount primarily because of concerns that over 60% of AbbVie's total revenue comes from one drug, Humira, that now faces biosimilar competition in Europe. Direct biosimilar rivals will also enter the U.S. market by 2023.
However, AbbVie has a well-defined plan to reduce its dependence on Humira. Sales continue to pick up momentum for the company's top two cancer drugs, Imbruvica and Venclexta. Endometriosis drug Orilissa is off to a great start, and AbbVie thinks that it will soon win another approved indication for the drug in treating uterine fibroids.
AbbVie's pipeline includes a couple of very promising late-stage immunology candidates. The company anticipates FDA approval for risankizumab in treating psoriasis in April with an expected approval for upadacitinib in treating rheumatoid arthritis in the third quarter of this year. Both drugs should be blockbuster winners for AbbVie.
Wall Street analysts project that AbbVie will be able to increase earnings by close to 10% annually on average over the next five years. With the company also paying a dividend with a mouth-watering yield of 5.3%, AbbVie should be able to deliver solid total returns in the future.
Celgene's valuation is even more attractive than AbbVie's, with the biotech's shares trading at a little over seven times expected earnings. Like AbbVie, Celgene is heavily dependent on one drug -- in this case, Revlimid. The blood cancer drug faces limited-volume generic competition beginning in 2023. There's also litigation under way challenging Celgene's key patents on Revlimid.
But Celgene has other approved drugs with booming sales. Multiple myeloma drug Pomalyst and immunology drug Otezla are rising stars. The biotech also has another blockbuster with slower growth in cancer drug Abraxane.
It's Celgene's pipeline that's the real attraction, though. The company awaits regulatory approval for myelofibrosis drug fedratinib. Celgene expects to file for approval of multiple sclerosis drug ozanimod within the next few months. Three other promising candidates, luspatercept, bb2121, and liso-cel, are on track to win approvals in 2020. All five drugs are expected to be blockbusters.
Celgene's product lineup and pipeline looked so appealing that Bristol-Myers Squibb is hoping to buy the biotech. Assuming the deal is approved by shareholders of both companies, buying Celgene now could lock in a quick profit of 15% plus the potential for more if ozanimod, liso-cel, and bb2121 achieve specified regulatory milestones.
Check out the latest earnings call transcripts for AbbVie, Celgene, and DaVita.
Shares of DaVita currently trade at 10.4 times expected earnings. The dialysis services provider didn't have a great year in 2018, with earnings falling 76% from 2017 and revenue increasing by less than 5%. DaVita CEO Javier Rodriguez stated in the company's Q4 conference call that "some recent data suggest that ESRD [end-stage renal disease] industry growth may be slowing."
Don't think that DaVita doesn't have solid long-term prospects, though. The data hint at slowing industry growth mentioned by Rodriguez could simply be a short-term impact of increased availability for kidney transplants. Over the next few decades, demographic trends should benefit DaVita as more people reach the ages where they're more likely to require kidney dialysis.
DaVita also operates in several international markets. The company operates dialysis centers in countries including Brazil, China, Germany, Malaysia, and Poland. Demographic trends should help drive growth for DaVita in these markets as well.
The company could soon be in a stronger financial position. DaVita awaits regulatory approval of the sale of its DaVita Medical Group business to UnitedHealth Group's Optum subsidiary. Assuming this approval is obtained, DaVita will make around $4.3 billion from the transaction to use in paying down debt and investing in growth initiatives.
In my view, Celgene is the best bargain of these three stocks. Despite some opposition, I expect the acquisition of Celgene by Bristol-Myers Squibb will go through. The clock is ticking, though. This bargain biotech probably won't be a bargain for much longer.