Alcon Inc. ALC recently completed its Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. acquisition, announced in August this year. Following the completion, Alcon intends to integrate Aerie into its business.
The transaction is expected to complement Alcon’s expansion into the ophthalmic pharmaceutical space, which includes buyouts of the exclusive U.S. commercialization rights for Simbrinza from Novartis in April 2021 and Eysuvis and Inveltys from Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in May 2022.
The latest acquisition will likely strengthen Alcon’s presence in the ophthalmic pharmaceutical space with its growing portfolio of commercial products and development pipeline.
Rationale Behind the Buyout
The buyout of Aerie leads to the addition of the commercial products Rocklatan (netarsudil and latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.02%/0.005% and Rhopressa (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02% to Alcon’s product portfolio. The transaction also adds AR-15512, a Phase 3 product candidate for dry eye disease, to Alcon’s product line. Alcon has also acquired a pipeline of ophthalmic pharmaceutical product candidates with the opportunity to leverage Aerie’s existing research and development capabilities.
Per Alcon’s management, the acquisition is expected to expand its commercial footprint and expertise to provide broader access to Rocklatan and Rhopressa. Management also believes that the buyout will enhance its efforts to build a robust portfolio of ophthalmic pharmaceuticals.
Per a report by Nova one advisor, the global ophthalmic drugs market size is anticipated to reach around $67.1 billion by 2030 from $33.9 billion in 2021 at a CAGR of 7.4%. Factors like an increase in the prevalence of eye diseases and the rising awareness about ophthalmic disorders are likely to drive the market.
Given the market potential, the latest buyout is expected to strengthen Alcon’s global business.
This month, Alcon reported its third-quarter 2022 results, registering better-than-expected earnings. The company reported strong underlying quarterly performance within its business. Its robust innovation pipeline has been delivering solid results, as evident by the strength in its comprehensive portfolio of PCIOLs, including PanOptix and Vivity.
In September, Alcon announced the U.S. introduction of its Clareon Toric intraocular lens at the upcoming American Academy of Ophthalmology 2022 annual meeting in Chicago. With this, the company would complete offering its extensive Clareon portfolio in this region.
Shares of the company have lost 14.8% in the past year compared with the industry’s 26.8% decline and the S&P 500's 16.4% fall.
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Currently, Alcon carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. AMN, ShockWave Medical, Inc. SWAV and McKesson Corporation MCK.
AMN Healthcare, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present, has an estimated long-term growth rate of 3.3%. AMN’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 10.9%.
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
AMN Healthcare has gained 6.3% against the industry’s 32.7% decline in the past year.
ShockWave Medical, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 at present, has an estimated growth rate of 23.6% for 2023. SWAV’s earnings surpassed estimates in all the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 146.1%.
ShockWave Medical has gained 36.2% against the industry’s 26.8% decline over the past year.
McKesson, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 at present, has an estimated long-term growth rate of 10.1%. MCK’s earnings surpassed estimates in two of the trailing four quarters and missed the same in the other two, the average beat being 4.8%.
McKesson has gained 68.5% against the industry’s 10.5% decline over the past year.
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report