In this segment from Market Checkup, Motley Fool health-care analysts David Williamson and Michael Douglass discuss Baxter International's (NYSE:BAX) decision to follow the popular Big Pharma route by splitting.

It appears Baxter is no longer content to spin off underperforming units, but is instead taking a long-hoped-for dramatic reshaping to unlock value for shareholders. This special situation could offer investors two dramatically different investing opportunities.

The closest analogy here is Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) and AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), for a number of reasons. Both suffered from a short-term overhang but have potential for outperformance. In AbbVie's case it is patent expiration for the world's best-selling drug, Humira, while Baxter faces competition from Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB). However, both pharma units have interesting pipelines, and AbbVie has rewarded investors, as its 45% return since breaking off from its former parent company has doubled that of Abbott Labs.

Watch and find out why David and Micheal agree with Baxter's decision, what each of the new businesses offers for investors, and how much upside there could be for shareholders.


David Williamson owns shares of Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie. Michael Douglass has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Baxter International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.