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Why Medtronic PLC (NYSE:MDT) Is a Strong Buy?

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Healthcare stocks
By Group29 - Own photo, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Medtronic is one of those companies you don’t need a reason for buying. You need a reason for not buying it. With a proven track record, healthy financials and a solid future catalyst, Medtronic should do very well for patient investors. But make sure you understand that this is a company you buy with a long-term perspective. With a 2.35% dividend yield, it’s not for investors primarily seeking dividend income as a passive flow of cash. Let the stock compound for a few decades, and you’ll be greatly rewarded.

Each sector has a few winning companies with either wide or narrow moat which just seem to go on and on, making shareholders richer and richer. In personal healthcare, we have Johnson and Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), in food Nestle (NYSE: NESN), in cars BMW (ETR: BMW), in pharma Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), in oil Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) and in medical Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT). Investing in such companies will not make you rich in a hurry. They might not even make you rich within 5 years, but they all provide stable annual returns for shareholders. When you combine the dividend return and the price return, the total annual return for all of these companies are close to 8 – 12 %. That’s way better than any saving account or if you were to invest in bonds.

Also Read:Here is Why Johnson and Johnson is Buy?

Let’s dig a bit deeper into Medtronic. The company manufactures and sells device-based medical therapies to hospitals, physicians, clinicians and patients worldwide. One can device the company into the Cardiac and Vascular group, minimally invasive therapies group, restorative therapies group and diabetes group. Basically, Medtronic plays a highly important role in all of those sectors, and will probably continue doing it for decades.

As for the fundamentals and the stock performance, Medtronic is a strong buy. The current yield is 2.35% which is 17% above its 5-year average at 2.00%. Already here investors could say that the yield is big enough since it beats inflation, but there’s more. The dividend compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 13% last year, 12 % in the last 5 years and 16% in the last 20 years. Now that’s how you compound and play with time, not against it.

The payout ratio is very safe, being less than 40% meaning that the company should have no problems covering the dividend even if earnings started to decrease (which will happen in a financial crisis).

Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) has paid uninterrupted dividends for more than 25 years, and will most likely continue doing it for another 25 years, making Medtronic a dividend king. If we look at what the analyst from Marketwatch says then the overall recommendations from 25 analysts are 14 Buys, 1 Overweight and 9 Hold. The technical support is around $76, so now might be a time to pick up this great company a decent price.

Here’s Why Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) Is a Buy

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
By Zarateman (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is in the news after the company said its CFO will step down. Irrespective of the executive changes, let’s dig deeper and analyze Johnson & Johnson stock and see why it’s worth buying.

Johnson & Johnson is swiftly diversifying its revenue stream amid challenges in the traditional consumer products division.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) now accounts for roughly half of its revenue from its pharmaceutical business arm. The consumer products division is presenting challenges because of the entry of low-cost players, e-commerce and sales of small vendors on social media.

Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical business’ operating income has increased by a whopping 25% in the last 12 months, mainly due to the company’s performance in the oncology area. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) Darzalex has crossed $1 billion in annual sales. The drug is now available in Europe and Japan. Imbruvica and Zytiga are also growing and gaining traction worldwide. Johnson & Johnson’s pipeline of drugs is very strong. The company has at least 8 oncology drugs that are currently in late stages of development and registration in the US and Europe. The company is also working on cardiovascular drugs, including XARELTO. Johnson & Johnson is also developing several immunology drugs and vaccines. At least 10 drugs are expected to be launched within the next 3 years. Each of these drugs are expected to reach $1 billion annual sales. Analysts also think that Actellion, which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) for $30 billion, will provide a huge growth momentum to the company.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is an excellent dividend stock. The company has increased its dividend for 55 consecutive years. For the first quarter of 2018, the company announced a cash dividend of $0.84 per share, payable on March 13.

Also Read: Omega Healthcare Investors a Swan Stock or Not?

Johnson & Johnson is divesting smaller business segments to focus on more profitable business arms. In 2017, about 22% of the total sales came from the products that are launched within the last five years. Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) said it received a $2.1 billion binding offer from private equity firm Platinum Equity for its LifeScan glucose monitoring business. The company has until June 15 to respond. Johnson & Johnson was mulling over selling LifeScan, Animas Corporation, and Calibra Medical since early last year. The company’s Diabetes Care franchise revenue declined 9.7% in 2017 to $1.6 billion. The company also plans to close its Animas Corporation diabetes care unit and insulin pump business.

Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE:OHI) a Swan Stock or Not?

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Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE:OHI)

Shareholders of Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE:OHI) has seen their holdings decrease for quite some time. In 2017, the stock decreased 20% and in the past three years, the total price return has been 37.17%. However, if one focus on total return, the investment hasn’t been that bad. Omega Healthcare Investors yields close to 10%, but the real question is if the dividend is safe.

The debate

One of the most searched and commented stocks on forums such as SeakingAlpha is Realty Income Group (NYSE:O) and Omega Healthcare Investors. The number 1 REIT contributor on the forum, Brad Thomas, has consequently praised both companies, telling investors that both companies are rock solid and a so-called SWAN stock. SWAN stands for Sleep Well at Night.

Recent debate on the forum has shown that the case for both companies might be worse than what the accredited contributor claims. Two recent articles, “Omega Takes a Swan Dive” and “Spruce Point Capital takes aim at Realty Income”, both show great weakness in the two investments. Just recently, management of Omega Healthcare Investors decided to freeze the dividend growth, with the following explanation:

“As a result of our strategic repositioning activities, 2018 will not be a growth year, and therefore, we do not expect to increase the dividend during 2018” – C. Taylor Picket

The REIT sector as a whole has suffered from increased interest rates. While the iShares Global REIT ETF (NYSE:REET) is down 8.24%, many single REIT securities are down double digit. Retail and Healthcare has been the worst sectors by far. The dividend freeze is one thing, but the ongoing tenant problem is the huge problem. As of now, the company needs to fund the high yield with further debt. Naturally, this is a warning sign for most investors, since they are saying that they don’t have the funds to cover the dividend, but they pay it anyhow.

A dividend cut?

The great question is about dividend safety. If it turns out that management has failed to understand the future outlooks, and earnings will decrease, then a dividend cut is unavoidable. Some short-minded investors argue that this is okay, cause the dividend will still be above 5%, but that’s not true. A 40% dividend cut will smash the share-price down a lot, and it might take decades, if that even happens, before the price is back to prior prices.

We advise that all shareholders of Omega Healthcare Investors reflect upon their holdings and we don’t see this investment as a SWAN stock. This is a high risk and little reward case.

The author owns shares in Realty Income Group.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) Blockbuster Pipeline, M&A to Offset HCV Declines

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD)

2017 was not a good year for Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), as the company announced weak sales of core hepatitis C drugs Harvoni, Sovaldi and Epclusa. These drugs are under pressure amid pricing problems and competition. Gilead also recently posted fourth quarter results that were not up to the expectations. Total HCV franchise revenue for the fourth quarter declined to $1.5 billion from $3.2 billion in the prior-year period. The company had to suffer a big loss amid a $5.5 billion provision for income taxes related to the recent U.S. tax reform legislation. However, it is important to note that this was a one-time hit, and the company will benefit from lower tax rates in the future.

Analysts were also disappointed from Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) estimates for 2018. The company expects net product sales to fall in between $20 billion and $21 billion, slightly lower than estimates. However, bullish analysts believe that Gilead has always been conservative with its outlooks, and tends to beat projections every time. For full-year 2017, the company had projected revenue of $24.5 billion and $25.5 billion, but actual revenue in the year totaled $25.7 billion.

Analysts are bullish on the company acquisition of Kite Pharma, a specialty cancer immunotherapy drug developer. In 2017, Kite Pharma increased its sales by a whopping 100% annually to reach $35 million. The company has already started integrating its services with Gilead’s inorganic R&D facilities.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) pipeline is healthy and has several growth catalysts. The pipeline includes drugs for HIV/AIDS, liver disease, hematology/oncology and inflammation/respiratory. The biggest catalyst for Gilead stock is the company’s HIV franchise. In the fourth quarter, Genvoya revenue increased by 88% year over year to $1.06 billion, while sales of Descovey jumped 145% year over year to $365 million. TAF-based HIV drug Odefsey more than doubled year over year.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) stock reversed its declines after FDA approved the company’s new HIV drug, a combination of bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide. Analysts believe that the new drug’s sales could reach $1 billion in 2018 alone. Annual sales for Bictarvy are expected to reach $5 billion by 2024.

The company is also in talks to acquire Crispr Therapeutics, a leading gene-editing company to treat cancers and rare genetic diseases.

J.P. Morgan analyst Cory Kasimov recently said in a report that Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) HCV is declining and as a result, the company is focusing on HIV and M&A, which is very positive. RBC Capital Markets analyst Brian Abrahams also thinks that Gilead’s pipeline is “maturing” and the company is working on potential blockbusters acquisitions.

Will Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan and Amazon Succeed in Disrupting the Healthcare Sector?

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Healthcare Companies
Photo by pina messina (https://unsplash.com/photos/iIDiRMITYik?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on Unsplash

The latest rumour has it that Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos and Jamie Dimon will team up to disrupt the healthcare sector. They say that healthcare prices and pharmaceutical prices are way too high, and that they share a common goal about helping fellow Americans. However, the main goal is to create an independent health care company for their employees in the United States.

Warren Buffet is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B) and as of 2/1/18 is said to have a real-time net worth of $92.4 billion. The investor, known by the name “the oracle of Omaha” is also known for being able to see opportunities well before others. Few people would argue that Buffet is most likely the best investor of all time. What’s special about Buffet is that he is able to create shareholder value over decades, and he has a profound understand of how a well-established business should operate and run.

As if having Buffett entering the healthcare sector wasn’t enough, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon (NYSE: AMZN) and Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) will partner up with the oracle and together find a way to disrupt the healthcare sector. Bezos, who is said to be the richest man in the world as of late October 2017, with a wealth at $120.5 billion, will surely use his amazing entrepreneurial spirit and find a way to improve the sector.

Rumours have it that some hospitals are starting to manufacture their own medicine because buying it from the pharma company had gotten so expensive. So maybe it’s time for some change within the health care sector? What’s sure is that the current companies are highly afraid of this new partnership. On Tuesday, the share price of many healthcare stocks surged:

MetLife Inc. (NYSE:MET) down 9.2 %, CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) down 5.39 %, Walgreens Boots Alliance (NYSE:WBA) down 4.31 %, Express Scripts (NYSE:ESRX) down 10.38 %, Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE:CAH) down 3.76 %, UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) down 4.98 %, Anthem Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) down 5.40 %, Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) down 2.81 % and Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) down 2.76 %

Cleary, the sector is afraid of the entry of the new partnership. “The three of our companies have extraordinary resources, and our goal is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans,” said Dimon.

The big joker his Trump and how what he will do with the pharmaceutical sector. Trump has stated that the U.S. pays more than any other countries for prescription drugs is “very very unfair”. It’s not highly unlikely that Trump will comment on the new partnership. For now, it seems like it might take some time before the idea moves from just a thought into something real, but with the available capital, resource and power here, it shouldn’t take long before we see some changes. We therefore recommend staying passive with new investments within the healthcare sector, and think that Berkshire Hathaway is a sound investment in any stock climate.

The author owns CVS.

Aimmune Therapeutics (NASDAQ: AIMT) Betting on Phase 3

Aimmune Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: AIMT)
By Dan4th Nicholas from Cambridge, MA, USA (060521peanuts) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Aimmune Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: AIMT), is currently developing therapies for peanut and other food allergies using its Characterized Oral Desensitization Immunotherapy (CODIT) system. The company’s lead biologic candidate for peanut allergies, AR101, completed a Phase 2 study a couple years ago with surprisingly positive results

The Phase 2 study, which consisted of 23 patients (both children and adults) who completed the treatment regimen, were desensitized to a clinically meaningful level of peanut protein (at least 443 mg). The study’s level of desensitization was well above the accidental encounter level of 100 mg (½ of a peanut kernel). 18 of the 13 patients were desensitized to a dose of 1,043 mg of peanut protein, which is the equivalent of four peanut kernels.

In early 2016, AIMT began a 554 patient Phase 3 trial for AR101. For this trial, the primary endpoint was set at a cumulative desensitization of 1,043 mg of peanut protein with a secondary endpoint set at 2,043 mg.

Based on a recent update, AIMT reported compliant up-dosing for more than 97% of the patients in the Phase 3 trial. In comparison, AIMT had only reported successful up-dosing of 80% of the patients in the Phase 2 study. Thus far, Phase 3 results seem to be promising.

The Phase 3 trial known as PALISADE, is a double-blind (placebo-controlled) trial that is designed to investigate the safety and efficacy of AR101 in patients (ages 4-49). With the majority of patients already showing positive results, management estimates that the Phase 3 trial will be completed by year-end 2017 with its results made publicly available by 1Q18.

Provided the Phase 3 trial results are strong, AIMT will have a viable product candidate that ultimately fulfills the needs of a large, underserved market. Between the U.S. and Europe, over 30 million people have a food allergy, with peanut allergy being the most prevalent and life-threatening (effecting over 5 million people). In the U.S. alone, 40-50% of people with a peanut allergy are sensitive to an exposure of 100mg or less. Currently, there are no over-the-counter (OTC) drugs available to prevent reactions. The only treatment available is epinephrine (EpiPen, Twinject, and Auvi-Q), which is used as a rescue medication.

Based on management expectations, AIMT is anticipated to achieve a minimum 16% adoption rate, which is under the assumption that most children and severe adults will take the medication. However, this minimum adoption rate may be revised higher over the near-term as the company’s primary competitor, DBV Technologies failed to meet its primary endpoint during its Phase 3 trial of Viaskin Peanut. This gives AIMT more runway to capture market share.

Overall, AIMT is a solid biotech stock choice for medium-term capital appreciation. The company is expected to release the results of the Phase 3 (PALISADE) trial by 1Q18. If the results are strong, investors should expect a significant increase in stock performance.

UnitedHealth (UNH) Scoops up Davita (DVA) Unit in $4.9 Billion Deal

UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH)

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), the largest health insurer in the U.S., continued to expand its presence in the health services sector with the acquisition of DaVita Medical Group, the primary and urgent care services unit of kidney dialysis firm DaVita Inc. (NYSE:DVA), for $4.9 billion.  DaVita Medical Group has a network of nearly 300 clinics spread across six states that serve about 1.7 million patients. The transaction will see it become part of UnitedHealth’s health services unit Optum.  The acquisition follows UnitedHealth’s $2.3 billion takeover of Surgical Care Affiliates Inc. in March. Surgical Care and its affiliates run 205 facilities in over 30 states, including ambulatory surgery hubs.

The deal also demonstrates the continuing trend of cross-sector consolidation in health care. Insurers believe they can save on medical costs by growing their presence in medical services. They say savings can be realized by moving patients to more accessible and cheaper locations.  Just recently, drugstore chain operator CVS Health Corp. (NYSE:CVS) agreed to purchase health insurer Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) for $69 billion.  UnitedHealth did not divulge any details on the deal’s financial impact, although Leerink analyst Ana Gupte expects it to add to the firm’s EPS by 1 percent to 4 percent in 2018, and between 5 percent and 7 percent in 2019. Oppenheimer analyst Michael Wiederhorn, meanwhile, said in a research note that the acquisition makes sense, given that UnitedHealth will be better positioned to slash costs by keeping its beneficiaries out of hospitals.

“We continue to favor the methodical approach to building a consumer-oriented, vertically integrated healthcare company piece by piece,” he wrote.

UnitedHealth is up 0.21 percent in after-hours trading at $219.94 per share. Its shares are up by nearly 37 percent this year. DaVita, meanwhile, ended the latest trading session up almost 14 percent at $69.20 per share. It plans to use the proceeds from the sale for substantial stock buybacks in the first two years of deal closing, as well as to cut debt and for general corporate purposes.

Buffett Benefits

Warren Buffett scored a win in the deal as his Berkshire Hathaway group owns a 20 percent interest in DaVita and is its largest shareholder. The one-day paper profit to the investor group amounts to over $231 million. Berkshire included DaVita in its portfolio in 2011, but things haven’t been rosy. The stock has fallen 20 percent since the end of 2014 before jumping as the acquisition was announced. Berkshire has placed bets in health care in the past years with mixed outcomes. It once held a key position in Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) but cut it. It also owned shares in UnitedHealth but off-loaded these in 2010 as the health insurance sector was felling the impact of the Affordable Care Act.

AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) Is the Best Pharmaceutical Investment. Here’s Why.

AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV)

AbbVie Inc(NYSE:ABBV) has proven itself to be one of the best pharmaceutical stocks to own in 2017. The stock is up over 50% year-to-date. AbbVie stock is poised for more growth amid several factors. First, the company is set to launch a Humira biosimilar. The company announced in September that it had settled its longstanding dispute with Amgen which had become a stumbling block in the progress of Humira’s biosimilar. AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) is now set to launch Humira’s biosimilar in Europe in 2018 and in the US by 2023. Humira is one of the bestselling drugs in the world. The drug is used to treat arthritis. About 55 million people are suffering from arthritis in the US alone.

AbbVie Inc(NYSE:ABBV) has several other growth catalysts. Earlier this year, the company got an approval of Mavyret/Maviret, an HCV treatment. Analysts think that this drug can induce a revival in the company’s HCV business. AbbVie also won an approval for Imbruvica for the treatment of chronic graft versus host disease (GVHD). Similarly, in October, AbbVie announced positive results for the phase III study of Venclexta plus Rituxan. The drug is being studied for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (“CLL”). AbbVie’s JAK-1 selective inhibitor, upadacitinib also met its primary endpoints in a latest study. The company is expected to launch its small-cell lung cancer drug Rova-T in 2018. Analysts are also excited about the launch of sex hormone treatment, Elagolix. AbbVie Inc(NYSE:ABBV) has successfully diversified its revenue and pipeline sources through timely acquisitions like Stemcentrix and Pharmacyclics. AbbVie recently announced positive results from Phase 3 trial of its psoriasis treatment, risankizumab. In the first phase of the study, 89% of the patients who used the drug showed 75% improvement in symptoms while 47% achieved totally clear skin. On Wednesday, AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson announced that a combinational study of Imbruvica for the treatment of Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM), a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, met the primary endpoint. Analysts now accept that AbbVie is no longer solely dependent upon Humira. It has its eggs in several baskets. However, Humira’s sales are still skyrocketing. In the third quarter, Humira revenue jumped 14.8% operationally.

http://investors.abbvie.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=251551&p=irol-presentations

Click here for 2017 AbbVie Strategy Presentation

Perhaps the most solid reason to buy AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) stock is its attractive dividend. After announcing strong third quarter results, AbbVie increased its dividend by a whopping 11%.

All of the above factors show that AbbVie remains the best pharmaceutical investment for 2018.

Johnson​ ​&​ ​Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) – ​a​ ​Defensive​ ​Growth​ ​Opportunity

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
By Zarateman (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

As the world’s leading manufacturer of health care products, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) operates in nearly 60 countries and sells its product in about 200 countries. Nearly 55% of Johnson & Johnson’s revenue is derived from international markets. Over the past 131 years, the company has diversified its business into three core segments: pharmaceutical, medical devices and diagnostics, and consumer.

The pharmaceutical segment (roughly 40 percent of revenue) consists of five therapeutic areas: immunology, infectious diseases, neuroscience, oncology, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Notable industry-leading drugs in the company’s pipeline include: immunocology drug Remicade and psoriasis drug Stelara. New drugs in the pipeline that are key to the company’s growth include: Xarelto, Darzalex, and Imbruvica.

The medical devices and diagnostics segment (roughly 40 percent of revenue) consists of a variety of products that are used in the orthopaedic care, surgical care, cardiovascular care, vision care, and diabetes care markets. The company’s R&D efforts in this segment have resulted in next-generation products that support its robust revenue base.

The consumer segment (roughly 20 percent of revenue) consists of baby care products, oral care products, beauty products, over-the-counter medicines, cold and flu products, allergy products, ibuprofen products, and acid reflux products. Notable products include: Listerine, Neutrogena, Tylenol, Sudafed, Benadryl, Zyrtec, Motrin, Band-Aid, Neosporin, and Pepcid.

Johnson & Johnson’s three core business segments generate substantial cash flow. The company’s healthy cash flow is approximately 17 percent of total revenue – higher than industry peers. Between Johnson & Johnson’s diverse business segments, strong product pipeline, and robust cash flow generation, the company benefits from having a very wide economic moat. Additionally, the company’s three-pronged revenue base insulates its operations from economic downturns, offering shareholders a defensive growth opportunity.

In terms of revenue growth, Johnson & Johnson is slightly above the industry average of 9.8 percent, coming in at 10.3 percent. The company’s gross and net profit margins are also above the industry average, coming in at 75.78 percent and 19.15 percent respectively. On the other hand, the company’s current debt-to-equity ratio is below the industry average, coming in at 0.48. However, that is a positive sign as it implies that debt levels have been appropriately managed.

In terms of valuation, Johnson & Johnson is trading at a healthy Price/Earnings ratio of 24.11, below or in line with its industry peers: Merck & Co is trading at 55.17, Lilly & Co at 39.55, and Pfizer at 22.09. Among its peers, the company has the highest trailing twelve-month net income, coming in at 15.8 billion. Overall, Johnson & Johnson boasts industry-leading revenue growth, expanding profit margins, robust cash flow, well-managed deleveraging efforts, and healthy valuation levels. The company is a prime defensive growth opportunity for investors.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) Will Skyrocket in 2018 – Here’s Why

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD)

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) is under pressure amid weaknesses in the HCV business. Gilead’s revenue in the third quarter slumped 13% while net income in the period declined by 18% year-over-year. Thanks to it consistent mergers & acquisitions practice the company has exposure to several other industries. Gilead stock is up over 3% since the start of this year.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) management is expecting to see a revival in the HCV business. Its CEO John Milligan recently said at a Credit Suisse conference that the effect of pricing wars in the Hepatitis C industry will die down in 2018, and the market will start evaluating the drugs based on their performance. As a result, according to Milligan, Gilead will rise as its Epclusa drug is better than its competitor launched by AbbVie.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) is rapidly expanding in China, one of the biggest growth markets in the world. Investors are also excited about Gilead’s $11.9 billion acquisition of Kite Pharma, which was announced back in August. Kite Pharma will give Gilead exposure to the lucrative oncology market. One of its other biggest growth catalysts after the buyout of Kite is Yescarta, a cell-based gene therapy to treat large B-cell lymphoma. The treatment was granted approval by the FDA last month. Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) has plans to revamp, train and certify some of its sites for CAR-T therapy. The company’s CEO recently said that there will be 70 sites by the end of 2018 where patients will be able to get admitted for CART-T therapy.

Analysts also think that investors should understand that Gilead’s future is not solely dependent upon its HCV business. Hepatitis B and HIV sales are thriving. In the third quarter, HIV and Hepatitis B revenues increased by 3% to reach $3.6 billion. In October, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) announced positive results regarding a study on the switch to the company’s new experimental combo (bictegravir/F/TAF combination) for HIV. The combination of drugs could bring in about $5 billion in annual sales. The combo is expected to get a response from the FDA if the combination is approved or rejected by February 2018. The new combinational drug has very little side effects.