Celltrion Healthcare Co., the marketing and distribution arm of South Korea’s top biosimilar developer Celltrion Inc., is continuing its breakneck growth spurred in large part by upbeat Remsima sales overseas.
Investors are shoveling more money to buy the stock, sending the company’s market cap to No. 2 only after its parent Celltrion on the Kosdaq market after a weak debut on July 28.
According to the Korea Exchange on Wednesday, the value of Celltrion Healthcare shares gained 33 percent in just a month, climbing from 44,650 won ($39) on September 11 to over 60,000 won now. Celltrion Healthcare’s stock price stayed in the 40,000 won range for some time after the IPO. However, it started to rebound in September on its strong business outlook with market expectations met in the second quarter.
The outlook for the second half remains rosy with operating profit is expected to soar a whopping 180.4 percent to 179.7 billion won on a consolidated basis in the six-month period from 64 billion won in the first half ended June, according to market data provider FnGuide. Sales are also estimated to up 134.8 percent to 721.7 billion won from 307.4 billion won during the same period.
Earnings-wise, Celltrion Healthcare is expected to report 243.6 billion won in full-year operating profit this year, up 36.4 percent from a year ago. Full-year sales may top 1 trillion won, up from 757.7 billion won, according to analyst estimates.
The biggest driver behind this bullish outlook is biosimilar products Remsima and Truxima for treatment of patients with autoimmune disease whose sales may be better in the second half. Other forward-looking positive factors include its possible entry to the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Korea index next month, and marketing approval of biosimilar Herzuma from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in December.
To enhance the company’s value more, however, it has to lower its dependency on Celltrion. “If Celltrion Healthcare buys commercial rights for medicines from other drugmakers, it will be able to further increase its corporate value,” said Han Byeong-wha, a researcher at Eugene Investment Co.
Shares of Celltrion Healthcare Thursday closed 4.21 percent up at 61,900 won from the previous session.
By Ko Min-suh and Chung Woo-sung
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