RBC shares investor frustration, but sees 'unlocked value' in Allergan
In a research note last night titled "Is it time for bold change at AGN? Investor frustration is high but value remains," RBC Capital analyst Randall Stanicky said he continues to see "significant unlocked value" in shares of Allergan. The analyst added that like many investors, he's frustrated. While it's easy to point to pipeline opportunity, after three years of underperformance, debate around whether it is time for bigger change has justifiably returned, Stanicky wrote. The reality, according to the analyst, is that both Allergan's pipeline and the potential push for a break-up "add optionality" on an "already compelling valuation." Amidst this backdrop, the analyst believes the focus on next week's conference update will be high. While there has been some positive evolution, like the board refresh and reduced focus on big acquisitions, the company's overall strategy is "unchanged and premised on investor appetite to own a platform comprised of various therapeutic assets combined via historical specialty pharma consolidation," says Stanicky. He believes investor frustration "is justified as is a sense of urgency to address performance." Nonetheless, the analyst's view on Allergan remains unchanged. He sees "attractive pipeline opportunity" with the greater value creation opportunity coming from a "more aggressive platform revisit/break-up." Both the potential for a strategic revisit and pipeline add to the stock's attractive risk/reward, contends Stanicky. Divesting Women's Health and/or Anti-infectives may seem incremental, but it would still be a "positive first step while a reversal in course would likely be a catalyst for greater investor frustration," Stanicky adds. The analyst kept an Outperform rating on Allergan with a $220 price target. The stock in midday trading is unchanged at $155.24.