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Is Biogen (BIIB) A Good Stock To Buy?

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·5 min read
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Longleaf Partners Fund, a Memphis-based fund under Southeastern Asset Management, recently released its Q2 2021 Investor Letter, a copy of which you can download here. The fund added 4.40% in the second quarter, taking year-to-date returns to 23.42%, while the S&P 500 returned 8.55% and 15.25% over the same periods. You should check out Longleaf Partners' top 5 stock picks for investors to buy right now, which could be the biggest winners of 2021.

In the Q2 2021 Investor Letter, the fund highlighted a few stocks and Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) is one of them. Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) is a biotechnology company. In the last three months, Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) stock gained 28%. Here is what the fund said:

"Biogen (51%, 1.78%), a biotechnology company specializing in therapies for the treatment of neurological diseases, contributed in a way that warrants a longer than usual writeup. When we first began buying the company in early January, the stock scored well on all three Business, People and Price criteria, but the range of outcomes was wider than most investments for us. On the business, while the company has had a leading position in neuroscience for decades, it had become a collection of assets that was hard for the stock market to value. This led to most short-term investors focusing on year-over-year (YOY) earnings declines in 2021 and pipeline uncertainty. We focused most on strong cash flows from Biogen’s Multiple Sclerosis franchise, a growing yet hidden biosimilars business, and a pipeline that we believed was actually quite interesting and diversified beyond the manic market focus on Aducanumab, a proposed treatment for Alzheimer’s. On the people front, we also liked what the board and management had been doing (large, discounted repurchases and prudent internal and external investments) and not doing (no big, dumb M&A or unsustainable dividends). Our single point appraisal was around $375/share, but we saw a range at the low end of slightly above $250 if the pipeline totally failed or approaching $500 if the company saw a reasonable amount of pipeline success. We also thought that we were effectively paying a very low double-digit multiple of FCF/share. It is important to note that we were not betting on our science expertise or any other predictions that fall outside our circle of competence. Rather, we used our bottom-up appraisal skills to find a security that was mispriced at that given moment - we had followed the company for over 10 years before our purchase - and that shorter-term investors were afraid to own due to the potential for near-term stock price volatility. We started with a partial position, as we felt the wider-than-usual range of outcomes and uncertainty around the stock could lead to the chance to fill it out at a better price later.

On June 7, the FDA approved Aducanumab (now known as Aduhelm) after a contentious process that has yet to fully play out. The stock shot upward, and our single point value increased to $425. With the stock trading at that level, we exercised our price discipline and sold our position. In this era of “multi-decade-compounders at any price” and given Southeastern’s history of being long term, it feels weird to be in and out of something so quickly. But it also feels OK to be able to use our appraisal skills to secure a payoff for our long-term clients. The company’s stock price has fallen since our sale, and we will continue to watch the price-to-value (P/V) gap going forward."

Countries With Highest Medical Research Spending
Countries With Highest Medical Research Spending

Nestor Rizhniak/Shutterstock.com

Earlier this month, we published an article revealing that Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) was one of the five stocks that Warren Buffett is selling now.

In Q1 2021, the number of bullish hedge fund positions on Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) stock remained unchanged from the previous quarter (see the chart here). Our calculations showed that Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) isn't ranked among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

The top 10 stocks among hedge funds returned 231.2% between 2015 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 Index ETFs by more than 126 percentage points. We know it sounds unbelievable. You have been dismissing our articles about top hedge fund stocks mostly because you were fed biased information by other media outlets about hedge funds' poor performance. You could have doubled the size of your nest egg by investing in the top hedge fund stocks instead of dumb S&P 500 ETFs. Here you can watch our video about the top 5 hedge fund stocks right now. All of these stocks had positive returns in 2020.

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Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.