Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Starting a Position in Baxter (BAX)

Thanks to reader Kolpin for the suggestion.  Here are some of the things I like about Baxter International, a large player in medical treatments, drugs, and therapies.  But first, a description of the company from Reuters:
Baxter International Inc. (Baxter,) incorporated on October 19, 1931, is a global, diversified healthcare company. Baxter, through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. The Company operated in two segments: BioScience and Medication Delivery. It is engaged in the medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide. These products are used by hospitals, kidney dialysis centers, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, doctors’ offices, clinical and medical research laboratories, and by patients at home under physician supervision. Baxter manufactures products in 27 countries and sells the products in more than 100 countries. In February 2012, the Company acquired Synovis Life Technologies, Inc. In November 2011, the Company acquired Baxa Corporation. In May 2011, the Company acquired privately-held Prism Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Prism), a specialty pharmaceutical company. In April 2012, it purchased SIGMA International General Medical Apparatus, LLC. In September 2013, Baxter International Inc completed the acquisition of Gambro AB.
In May 2011, the Company completed the divestiture of its United States multi-source generic injectables business to Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (Hikma). Through the acquisition of Synovis Life Technologies, Inc., Baxter has acquired product lines that include medical devices used for soft tissue repair, including PERI-STRIPS DRY, TISSUE-GUARD and VERITAS Collagen Matrix, and devices for microsurgery, such as the COUPLER, FLOW COUPLER, and GEM MICROCLIP. Baxter products are manufactured and sold worldwide. Approximately 60% of the Company’s revenues are generated outside of the United States.
The BioScience business processes recombinant and plasma-based proteins to treat hemophilia and other bleeding disorders; plasma-based therapies to treat immune deficiencies, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, burns and shock, and other chronic and acute blood-related conditions; products for regenerative medicine. These include biosurgery products and select vaccines.
Medical Products
The Medical Products business manufactures intravenous (IV) solutions and administration sets, premixed drugs and drug-reconstitution systems, pre-filled vials and syringes for injectable drugs, IV nutrition products, infusion pumps, and inhalation anesthetics. The business also provides products and services related to pharmacy compounding, drug formulation and packaging technologies. In addition, the Medical Products business provides products and services to treat end-stage renal disease, or irreversible kidney failure. The business manufactures solutions and other products for peritoneal dialysis (PD), a home-based therapy, and also distributes products for hemodialysis (HD), which is generally conducted in a hospital or clinic.

Morningstar Summary:  4 Stars with a fair value estimate of $84 (Today's price is $73)

Analysts opinions:  

From FASTGraphs:

Valuation:  at fair value, not undervalued
Dividend:  2.8%, with a good record of dividend growth (7 years, 10% dividend growth)
S&P Credit Rating:  A-
Projected growth in earnings:  8.3% (see below)
Volatility:  Low with a beta is 0.73

In summary, a solid, steady grower available at fair value today.  I consider this a good defensive stock, capable of earnings and dividend growth even in a recession or correction.  Limit order filled today for a 1/3 position at $73/share.



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