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AbbVie Stock (NYSE:ABBV): Bet on a Smart Drugmaker and Dealmaker

Is AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) a drugmaker to wager on now? I believe it’s a very smart move to consider buying a few shares, especially in light of recent positive news about AbbVie. So, I am bullish on ABBV stock because there are identifiable catalysts that could lead to major share price appreciation.

AbbVie is a large American drug manufacturer with a market cap that’s slightly over $250 billion. It’s often been considered a relatively safe company to invest in, and passive income seekers are certainly happy to collect AbbVie’s hefty dividend distributions every quarter.

However, 2023 hasn’t been a stellar year for ABBV stock. On the other hand, the stock was firmly in the green in the most recent trading session, and after discovering some of the good news, you might choose to take a moderately-sized share position in the stock.

A Win for Patients and for AbbVie’s Shareholders

Some stock traders might consider this to be the less important of two recent news items. However, it’s still highly significant for AbbVie and for the medical community. Specifically, AbbVie disclosed positive results from a Phase 2 clinical trial for Teliso-V, a cancer drug. Actually, Teliso-V is only one of two drugs that AbbVie is currently developing for non-small cell lung cancer. However, AbbVie’s other proposed drug for this disease, Livmoniplimab, is only in Phase 1 of its clinical trials.

Frankly, I’m surprised that ABBV stock only moved slightly higher yesterday on the Teliso-V update. Encouragingly, AbbVie found a “compelling” 35% overall response rate in patients with c-Met High and a 23% response rate in patients with c-Met intermediate.

Perhaps the market just wants to wait for AbbVie to get full Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Teliso-V. I feel that this is the wrong investment strategy, though. If and when AbbVie gets FDA approval for this cancer treatment, ABBV stock would probably shoot higher immediately. There would be hardly any time for retail traders to respond.

In other words, it’s still not too late to think about holding a few shares of AbbVie stock. Just one regulatory approval could send it to new heights after a year in the doldrums.

AbbVie Makes Significant Acquisition for Promising Cancer Therapies

As it turns out, Teliso-V and Livmoniplimab won’t be the only notable cancer therapy candidates in AbbVie’s pipeline. That’s because AbbVie is acquiring biotechnology company ImmunoGen (NASDAQ:IMGNfor $31.26 per share in cash, or roughly $10.1 billion in total.

ABBV stock moved up a couple of percentage points on the news, but it still has plenty of room to run, in my opinion. That’s because the proposed Immunogen acquisition will, according to AbbVie, “accelerate” the company’s “entry into the commercial market for ovarian cancer.”

To be careful, I’m calling it a “proposed” acquisition, but it’s practically a done deal. The boards of directors of AbbVie and ImmunoGen have approved the acquisition, and it’s expected to close in the middle of next year.

It’s not difficult to figure out why AbbVie would be willing to pay more than $10 billion for ImmunoGen’s assets. Indeed, AbbVie clearly spelled out the benefits. ImmunoGen’s Elahere (mirvetuximab soravtansine-gynx) is the “first targeted medicine to show meaningful survival benefit in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.”

Furthermore, AbbVie anticipates that Elahere will provide the company with a “potential multi-billion-dollar on-market medicine with expansion opportunities in earlier lines of therapy and larger segments of the ovarian cancer market.” In other words, a $10.1 billion investment in ImmunoGen now could yield huge returns for AbbVie, as well as life-changing results for certain cancer patients.

Is AbbVie Stock a Buy, According to Analysts?

On TipRanks, ABBV comes in as a Moderate based on eight Buys and five Hold ratings assigned by analysts in the past three months. The average AbbVie stock price target is $168.15, implying 18.1% upside potential.

If you’re wondering which analyst you should follow if you want to buy and sell ABBV stock, the most accurate analyst covering the stock (on a one-year timeframe) is Chris Schott of JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), with an average return of 17.9% per rating and a 79% success rate. Click on the image below to learn more.

Conclusion: Should You Consider AbbVie Stock?

AbbVie already has promising cancer treatments in the pipeline. However, the proposed Immunogen acquisition could materially expand AbbVie’s lineup of cancer-fighting drug candidates. Therefore, I view AbbVie as a drugmaker that’s willing to make a smart deal to augment its profit potential. Consequently, I’m bullish on ABBV stock and would definitely consider owning a few shares.