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BIO/THOMSON REUTERS INVESTOR STUDY: THE OUTLOOK FOR 2009 ROBERT RYND, DIRECTOR, THOMSON REUTERS CORPORATE SERVICES Massachusetts Biotechnology Council: An Inside Look at Public Capital Markets
DIRECT FEEDBACK FROM INVESTORS • A collaboration between BIO’s Investor Relations team and Thomson Reuters Corporate Advisory Services • Thomson Reuters conducted a survey and interviews during December and January • 80+ participants represent firms with $2.3 trillion in assets under management, including $266 billion in healthcare and $76 billion in biotech • 42% ‘plain vanilla’ institutions; 37% hedge funds; 13% VC; 8% other • Full study to be released in May
WHAT WE LEARNED • Investors are optimistic about biotech • The credit crisis has shifted investors’ focus • Mid-cap oncology companies are most attractive • Top-line growth drives valuation • Expect more action in Washington • Most investors pay little attention to activists • Conferences are critical • Companies must increase outreach to investors
INVESTORS ARE OPTIMISTIC • 66% expect biotech to outperform healthcare this year • 70% expect biotech to outperform the rest of the market this year • 57% expect biotech to rebound during this year; another 30% expect a rebound in 2010 • 64% say now is a “good” or “very good” time to invest in biotech • Average July 1st target for BTK: 744 (+15%)
THE USUAL CATALYSTS ...? • Four most-cited triggers • M&A • An increase in positive clinical trial news • General market sentiment • An increase in the number of FDA approvals • 51% say acquisitions will be the primary means for pharma to invest in biotech • More than two-thirds expect more M&A volume in 2009 for pharma buying biotech of all sizes and large biotech buying small biotech
M&A EXPECTATIONS “I think platform technologies – the companies that I told you we like to invest in – are the same companies that I think are the buy-out targets. Right now, the targets are companies that have sustainable revenues that can help fill in partial gaps within existing commercial franchises. Millennium was a good example; that’s why Takeda bought them. Large-cap pharma and biotech are the most likely acquirers –mid-cap pharma too. Anyone with cash is going to work right now trying to buy.” – Sector Specific Investor “It (credit crisis) is going to drive M&A activity over the near-term. You will see the large pharma companies come out of this with a better looking portfolio of prospective drugs, and it will lead to consolidation. Overall it is going to be healthy for the industry.” – Core Growth Investor
WHERE WILL M&A $’s FLOW? “That is yet to be determined. It is going to trickle back into equities over time. This earnings season will be an interesting tell on how comfortable investors are owning equities.” – Core Value Investor “Part of it will surely go back, but I do not know how much. Genentech is a stock that is not only owned by healthcare investors or biotech investors. A lot of large portfolios will not necessarily have to flow back to the sector. It depends on the benchmarks.” – Core Growth Investor “Many of these investors will most likely want to have exposure to biotech. I think they will probably stay in the large cap space as next year people will want liquid investments.”– Core Value Investor
CRISIS SHIFTS FOCUS TO CASH • 81% acknowledge that the effects of the credit crunch have forced them to change their approach • 21% say a company’s cash position is now more important and 68% say it is much more important • However, 53% state that, although financial status is now more important, science is still most important “One of the first things that most investors look at now, one of the first things they check, is the balance sheet. How much cash do they have and what is the burn rate? These are things that have become much more relevant now than before.”
ARE RISK THRESHOLDS RISING? • Market Cap - Only 38% would invest in a company with a market-cap under $50 million; 19% said maybe • Liquidity - Only 34% would invest in a stock that trades less than 100k shares per day; 38% said maybe • Stock Price - Only 26% would invest in a stock trading below $1; 30% said maybe • Drug Development - Only 24% would invest in a company with no products beyond phase I; 15% said maybe • Balance Sheet - Only 19% would invest in a company with less than 12 months of cash; 38% said maybe
HOW MUCH CASH IS ENOUGH? “In the past, people used to be more focused on pipelines, but it is more about financing. Companies should clearly know where the next two to three years of financing is going to come from.” – Deep Value Investor “Some combination of a strong financial position and/or a pipeline asset that is ‘monetizable’ is paramount in the current environment as compared to the past.” – Core Value Investor
ALTERNATIVE FINANCING • 40% of participants assert that given the current environment biotech companies need to do what is needed to survive. “I would not oppose financing however it was made, but I would then clearly look at the company to see if the cash is being used efficiently. That may mean stopping an early stage product to concentrate on two products or even one product instead of bundled resources. It is clearly case by case like what stage the product is or how the deal is done. We look at those things closely.” – GARP Investor “I am pretty agnostic. I generally do not like any debt or converts. Generally speaking, my biggest focus is a macro thing: I think all shareholders should be facing the same direction. If I am a common equity guy, I do not want to be involved with a bunch of guys focused more on warrants or debt. That is where you need to make sure everyone around the table is facing the same direction.” – Sector Specific Investor
Q&A • Robert Rynd • Director, Corporate Advisory Services, Thomson Reuters • 646-822-6339 or email@example.com