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Sunday share tips: Indivior, Team 17, 3i Infrastructure, Motif Bio

By Josh White

Date: Sunday 30 Dec 2018

Sunday share tips: Indivior, Team 17, 3i Infrastructure, Motif Bio

(Sharecast News) - In her 'Inside the City' column for the Sunday Times this week, Sabah Meddings looked back on the year that was for Indivior - the FTSE 250 firm that has seen its share price fall and fall again as it fights for the right to exclusively sell its 'Suboxone' film treatment for opioid addicts.
The company has spent much of the year in a battle with Indian generic pharmaceutical manufacturer Dr Reddy's Laboratories, which claims it can legally launch a generic version of Suboxone.

It has also put in tremendous effort to move patients from the sublingually-dissolving treatment to the monthly injection 'Sublocade', without seeing much success.

Indivior initially advised shareholders that it was expecting to see Sublocade sales of around $100m, but has since taken an axe to that figure and revised it to $12m.

Negative RNS release after negative RNS release has seen investors jump ship, with the share price falling almost three-quarters and more than £2bn wiped from Indivior's value.

The firm - spun out of consumer behemoth Reckitt Benckiser in 2014 - was once worth £2.9bn, but now had a market cap of barely more than £795m.

Meddings did note that there were questions around whether the company did enough to guide investors over its potential downside, but said that was an argument for another time.

For the brave investor, Meddings claimed there were some possible reasons things could look somewhat brighter for Indivior in 2019, with the company planning to launch an authorised generic version of Suboxone to compete with competitor generics.

That should generate revenue in the tens of millions of dollars, which - while unlikely to see it recover to its previous $1.1bn turnover - would coincide with chief Shaun Thaxter's cost-cutting measures.

It was also pinning at least some of its hopes on a schizophrenia treatment dubbed 'Perseris', which was set to launch in February, and would help to diversify the firm's focus from Suboxone.

Analysts at Jefferies have forecast peak sales of Perseris of around $300m, though Indivior would be sharing the winnings with a partner.

Meddings also pointed out that the FDA in the US, which recently gave only "tentative approval" to the weekly injection Brixadi - a rival to Sublocade - had now decided to award exclusivity to Indivior until November 2020.

"Indivior must speed up its pipeline of new treatments to replace the inevitable loss in revenue from Suboxone Film," Sabah Meddings wrote.

"However, the danger finally appears to be factored into the share price - Jefferies has a 120p target, while Stifel has a hugely more ambitious 440p.

"Also, the current 109.2p may attract a predator. Buy."

Over in the Mail on Sunday, Joanne Hart was giving her readers an after-Christmas sale of sorts in her 'Midas' column, recommending three different stocks to "keep profits bubbling".

She said between American trade uncertainty, the rise of continental populism and the apparently undervalued nature of UK stocks, there was little to cheer about - but plenty of opportunity.

Her first recommendation was video games developer Team 17, run by Debbie Bestwick, and with such popular titles as Overcooked and My Time With Portia.

The firm was founded in 1990 but only floated on AIM in May, at £1.65 per share, before soon rocketing to £2.80 by September.

It had since drifted back down to £1.83 - a price that, according to Hart, made it a buy.

"Gaming has become a multi-billion pound industry and gamers are likely to carry on playing regardless of economic conditions," she wrote.

"Team17 is at the forefront of its field and the shares should rise. At 183p, they are a buy."

Next, Hart suggested a look at publicly-listed private equity business 3i Group, with its shares currently sitting at £7.95 - a price that "should rise materially" in 2019 and beyond.

A decade ago, the firm was involved with hundreds of firms and had taken on a hefty debt burden to fund them, but it had since slimmed down to just 35 investments, giving it the opportunity to actively support every one of them.

Its investees were spread across the UK, Northern Europe and the US, and 3i had apparently selected all of them for their growth potential, aiming to double their value within five years.

In the year to 30 March, the company paid a 30p dividend, with analysts expecting an even more generous distribution in a few months' time.

"3i shares have suffered this year, in line with the wider market," Hart said,

"At £7.95, they should prove a rewarding investment - and the dividends add an extra bit of spice."

The final company on Joanne Hart's shopping list was Motif Bio, a company developing a new antibiotic - 'iclaprim' - which was reportedly safer and more effective than existing drugs, and saved hospitals money.

Motif Bio shares were currently sitting at 28p, with brokers expecting them to possibly triple in coming months.

Hart noted that, for many small biotech firms, the challenge was whether they could get regulatory approval for their products before the cash wells ran dry, but said Motif Bio was well on track, with trials recently completed and the FDA in the US expected to give iclaprim the big green tick in February.

Chief executive Graham Lumsden was also on the hunt for a partner company with a fat wallet to help bring the drug the market.

Discussions on that front were ongoing, with news expected in the next few months.

"Motif Bio shares have fallen this year but the company is doing everything right," Joanne Hart said.

"At 28p, the stock has serious potential. Buy."


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