Here's something we haven't seen in awhile: Elan
In fact, the debt is still with Elan. The $118 million in interest expenses this year continues to be a significant drag on the company.
Still, there's no doubt Elan's operations and balance sheet have never been healthier in the past decade. Growth in sales of Tysabri, which it sells with Biogen Idec
Fortunately, Elan doesn't plan to wait another 10 years to show an operating profit. The company expects that revenue will continue to increase and expenses will be moderately lower in 2011. Add it all up, and Elan should be cash flow positive this year.
Valuing unprofitable drugmakers can be tricky, but with an enterprise value of $4.8 billion, Elan looks fairly cheap compared with its peers. Dendreon
As I see it, investors are basically getting Elan's pipeline for free. Part of the reason for the discount is the time it'll take to bring its next drug to market. Elan only has one drug in phase 3 development: Alzheimer's disease drug bapineuzumab, which is partnered with Johnson & Johnson
Elan could be a good bet at these levels, but there doesn't seem to be any immediate reason to rush in and buy shares.
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