The entire pharmaceutical supply chain cohort, specifically, McKesson (MCK), Cardinal Health (CAH), CVS Health (CVS) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) are all near multi-year lows despite still posting growth albeit slow with healthy balance sheets and growing dividends. This cohort has been faced with several headwinds that have negatively impacted the growth, and the changing marketplace conditions have plagued these stocks. The political backdrop has been a major headwind for the entire pharmaceutical supply chain including drug manufacturers, pharmaceutical wholesalers, and pharmacies/pharmacy benefit managers. Compounding the political climate, the drug pricing debate continues to rage on throughout political and social media circles weighing on the overarching sector. This backdrop erodes the pricing power of drugs that ultimately move from drug manufacturers to patients with insurers and other middlemen playing roles in the supply chain web.
In an effort to address these headwinds and restore growth, companies within this cohort have made bold moves such as CVS acquiring Aetna (AET) to form a colossus bumper-to-bumper healthcare company. Cardinal Health shelled out $6.1 billion to acquire Medtronic's Patient Care, Deep Vein Thrombosis, and Nutritional Insufficiency business. McKesson has made a string of acquisitions over the past two years deploying $1.2 billion for Biologics, $2.1 billion for Rexall and $525 million for Vantage Oncology in 2016. This was followed by a $1.1 billion acquisition of CoverMyMeds, undisclosed acquisition costs for RxCrossroads and Well.ca in 2017. Thus far in 2018, McKesson acquired Medical Specialty Distributors. Continue reading "Inexpensive Stocks: Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Cohort"