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NOVARTIS

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Novartis : CEO pledges not to sell Sandoz generics unit

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07/27/2019 | 05:13am EDT
Logo of Swiss drugmaker Novartis is seen at its branch in Schweizerhalle near Basel

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan pledged in an interview published on Saturday not to sell the Swiss drugmaker's generics unit Sandoz amid a revamp that has prompted speculation he is preparing to offload the business.

"No, we will not sell Sandoz," Narasimhan told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. "We will make Sandoz autonomous within Novartis, so it's more competitive. Our plan is to focus Sandoz and make it better in the long-term."

Novartis is revamping Sandoz, a process Narasimhan has previously said will take roughly the next year and a half. He has already sold a generic U.S. pills business and dermatology assets that were under extreme price pressure, and has suggested other divestitures may be forthcoming.

These changes, along with the departure of Sandoz's former CEO in March, have prompted some analysts to predict Narasimhan may eventually exit generics.

Sandoz, which last year had nearly $10 billion in sales, upgraded its full-year sales target on July 18, holding out the possibility of low-single-digit percentage sales growth, up from a previous prediction of "broadly in line" with 2018.

In the first half of 2018, Sandoz's business with biosimilar copies of branded blockbusters in Europe helped offset a U.S. business that remains under price pressure.

Narasimhan also said he planned to keep both Sandoz and Hexal brands in Germany. "There will be no changes here," he told the newspaper.

(Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Mark Potter)

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Financials (USD)
Sales 2019 46 906 M
EBIT 2019 13 785 M
Net income 2019 10 612 M
Debt 2019 17 685 M
Yield 2019 3,19%
P/E ratio 2019 21,7x
P/E ratio 2020 22,2x
EV / Sales2019 4,92x
EV / Sales2020 4,56x
Capitalization 213 B
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 27
Average target price 93,67  $
Last Close Price 93,00  $
Spread / Highest target 15,5%
Spread / Average Target 0,72%
Spread / Lowest Target -13,4%
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Managers
NameTitle
Vasant Narasimhan Chief Executive Officer
Hans Jörg Reinhardt Independent Non-Executive Chairman
Harry Werner Kirsch Chief Financial Officer
John Tsai Chief Medical Officer
Srikant T. Madhav Datar Independent Non-Executive Director
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