Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC (JAZZ 1.30%), a sleep and hematology/oncology focused drugmaker, has put up stellar returns for long-term investors. Anyone smart enough to add a few shares of this company to their portfolio 5 years ago would be up sitting on a gain of more than 400%, which smashes the returns of the biotechnology sector in general as measured by the SPDR B&P Biotech ETF (XBI 3.34%).
So what's going on inside this company that allowed it to outperform the returns of the red hot SPDR B&P Biotech ETF? Below is a quick primer on what this company has accomplished that has led to its huge market success.
The last piece of the company's revenue pie that is worth mentioning is defitelio/defibrotide, which is currently approved in the EU as a treatment of severe hepatic veno-occlusive disease in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. This is another extremely rare disease that afflicts only a few thousand patients in the U.S. and EU each year, but the FDA has granted the drug with its covered fast-track approval designation to help stateside patients with this condition. Sales in 2015 are expected to be roughly flat with 2014 and come in around $70 million, but sales could get a big boost in 2016 if U.S. regulators give the drug the thumbs up.
Jazz has a number of initiatives in place that should allow it to continue growing at a rapid clip. The biggest lever that the company can pull to grow is to continue to expand the use of Xyrem. That could happen through increasing market penetration as well as label expansion, and the company is actively pursuing both strategies.
Looking beyond Xyrem, the company has built out a nice pipeline of products in late stage trials that will help to expand its position in both the sleep and hematology/oncology markets.
The FDA is set to rule on March 31 whether or not they will approve the sale of defibrotide in the U.S. Peak sales estimates for this drug are expected to be around $480 million annually.
Another drug that looks exciting is Jazz's next generation sleep drug JZP-110, which is being studied in both Narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. An estimated 300,000 Americans could potentially qualify for JZP-110 if it manages to win approval for both conditions.
All told, analysts are currently projecting that the company will grow around 17% annually over the next 5 years.
How to value Jazz Pharmaceuticals
Unlike most other biotechnology companies that are currently losing money, valuing Jazz Pharmaceuticals is a relatively straightforward process, since the company is solidly profitable. One simple valuation tool that investors can look at is the company's price-to-earnings ratio on both a trailing and forward basis.
With a trailing P/E ratio around 25 and a forward P/E ratio under 14, Jazz isn't an expensive stock. That's especially true when you consider that it boasts a strong product portfolio that is positioned for continued growth and that it has a strong pipeline in place. It doesn't hurt that Jazz is headquartered in Ireland where it enjoys a low corporate tax rate, which could make it a tax inversion target for a U.S.-based company looking to lower its tax bill.
Tying it all together
All in all, there is a lot to like about Jazz Pharmaceuticals as it is profitable, growing, and trades at a modest valuation. If you are an investor looking for a lower-risk company from the biotechnology sector, then Jazz could be a solid choice -- especially if we get good news from management on this afternoon's earnings conference call.