Investors largely shrugged off the most recent earnings report from United Therapeutics (NASDAQ:UTHR), a pharma company that focuses on pulmonary hypertension. Sometimes, however, past financial results can cloud the vision a company has for its future. The savviest investors look to the past and to the future when deciding whether or not to make a purchase. I think that the growth potential United Therapeutics offers may prove to be be a breath of fresh air for shareholders.
Poised for growth
While revenue for the company’s leading product for pulmonary hypertension, Remodulin, was down 12% from fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2020 (from $587 million to $516.7 million) due to generic competition coming to market in 2018, another pulmonary hypertension treatment, Tyvaso, gained 16% in in that time, from $415.6 million to $483.3 million. Management is currently seeking expanded labeling for Tyvaso for pulmonary hypertension and interstitial lung disease, hoping to double the number of patients taking the drug within 18 months. A decision from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is due in April.
It gets better
In 2022, it could get even better for this laser-focused company. Results from a study evaluating Tyvaso for pulmonary hypertension associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will likely be out in the second half of 2022, and if they’re positive, an additional 100,000-plus patients could be added to Tyvaso’s addressable market — tripling the current number.
United Therapeutics is also launching the Remunity pump in 2021. This delivery device for Remodulin is analogous to insulin pumps for diabetes patients. Investors will want to keep an eye on this product launch, because its success will likely revive sales of the Remodulin franchise, whose sales were declining due to generic competition since 2018. If United Therapeutics can approach the market penetration of insulin pumps for type 1 diabetics (which is about 30% of the U.S.), I think that the company should be able to stabilize if not increase Remunity sales, while growing hardware and consumables sales. For comparison, the hardware and consumables market has been lucrative for the type 1 diabetes market, having produced 70% profit margins for insulin pump maker Dexcom (NASDAQ:DXCM), there is little reason to think these kinds of margins won’t also be the case for United Therapeutics.
Bringing combined growth and value to your portfolio
With a $7.5 billion market cap, a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 14, and sales of $1.483 billion in fiscal 2020, United Therapeutics seems cheap given its strong potential for an expanded addressable market. Healthcare investors looking for an under-the-radar growth stock on the cheap should consider adding United Therapeutics to their watch list.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.
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