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Pharma shares under pressure during 2017, BSE Healthcare index remains flat at 0.5% increase during the year

Sanjay Pingle, Mumbai
Saturday, December 30, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The overall performance of pharmaceutical companies on stock markets remained significantly under pressure during the full year 2017 on account of single digit growth in top line as well as bottom line, US FDA actions against major Indian pharma companies in respect of quality, demonetization, GST implementation and price cuts. The BSE Healthcare (BSE HC) index of 70 companies improved only by 0.5 per cent to 14,799.42 on December 29, 2017 from last day of closing of previous year of 14,727.59 due to lack of investors support. BSE HC touched to its yearly high at 15,161.02 points on March 17, 2017 and then declined continuously and touched to yearly lowest level at 12,513.13 points on August 11, 2017. Similarly, NEFT Pharma index of 10 pharma companies also declined to 9,620.10 points as compared to 10,267 points as at the close of 2016.

Though BSE HC remained almost unchanged during 2017, BSE Sensex of 30 companies from important segments of economy, improved smartly by 27.9 per cent to 34,056.83 points as at the close of 2017 as against 26,626.46 points as at the end of 2016. BSE Sensex improved steadily during full year and reached at yearly highest level at 34,137.99 on December 27, 2017 and lowest at 26,447.06 on January 2, 2017. Meanwhile, Cipla and Lupin shares were removed from BSE Sensex during December 2017. Thus, excluding pharma scrip all other major sectoral scrips of economy shown better performance.

The US FDA actions against several Indian pharm majors like Sun Pharmaceuticals, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Lupin, Cipla, Aurobindo Pharma, Divi's Laboratories, Alkem Laboratories, Wockhardt, Biocon, Strides Shasun, Torrent Pharma, Alembic Pharma, Claris Injectables, Indoco Remedies, Granules India, Natco Pharma, Marksans Pharma, ect during 2016 and 2017 impacted financial working. The US market is the key market for growth and due to ban on products by US authorities, the revenues and profit of several companies shown dismal financial performance.

For the first half ended September 2017, the sales of 20 major pharma companies (contributed 75 per cent to net sales of Pharmabiz sample of leading 100 companies for the full year 2016-17) declined by 3 per cent to Rs.75,819 crore from Rs.78,127 crore. Their net profit declined sharply by over 44 per cent to Rs.7,386 crore from Rs.13,217 crore due to major setback to Sun Pharma, Lupin, Biocon, Strides Shasun, Dr Reddy's Labs, Cadila Healthcare, Alkem Labs Divi's Labs, etc. This lower profitability adversely impacted investors confidence in the second half of 2017. Based on first half results, the overall performance of pharma companies will be under pressure for full year ended March 2018 due to lower exports US.

The Indian companies are investing higher amount on Research and Development to establish strong presence in highly regulated and lucrative export markets. Through higher R&D investments, these companies have received higher approvals from various regulatory bodies. In 2017, the US FDA approved highest number of ANDAs during the last decade and approvals in 2017 reached at 809 upto the December 26, 2017. Similarly, tentative approval reached at 175 ANDAs. In the previous year US FDA approved only 598 ANDAs and 156 tentative approvals. Out of 809 ANDA approvals, Indian Indian companies secured 289 final ANDA approvals and 61 tentative approvals. This worked out to almost 36 per cent of total approvals. Higher approval will help Indian pharma companies to overcome competition and launch cost effective products in highly regulated markets.

Cadila Healthcare and Zydus Pharma USA Inc, secured 69 ANDAs approvals from US FDA during 2017, of which Zydus Pharma secured 64 ANDA approvals. This was followed by Aurobindo Pharma with total 49 final approvals during Jan- December 26, 2017. Glenmark Pharma and Lupin grab 17 approval each and Macleods Pharma and Gland Pharma got 15 approvals each. Further, Alkem Laboratories received approval for 13 ANDAs, Cipla 10 ANDAs and Sun Pharma and Taro Pharma 20 ANDAs during Jan-December 26, 2017. Thus the R&D efforts yielding results and Indian companies have established strong presence in US.

Several pharma scrips shown better performance and improved their market capitalisation during 2017. Hester Biosciences scrip of Rs.10 each went up sharply by over 159 per cent during the year 2017 to Rs.1,865.55 from previous year closing of Rs.719.25. Gufic Biosciences also moved up by 141 per cent to Rs.127.40. Piramal Enterprises scrip of Re 2 each had taken a significant jump by 76.6 per cent to Rs.2863 with market capitalisation of Rs.49469 crore. This was followed by strong growth of over 30 per cent in share price by Morepen Labs, Caplin Point, Natco Pharma, Sun Pharma Advance Research Co (SPARC), Mangalam Drugs, Dishman, Bliss GVS Pharma, Divi's Labs, Alkem Laboratories, Wockhardt, Merck and Kopran. The performance of MNCs was better than Indian companies and the share price of Abbott India, Sanofi India, AstraZeneca Pharma, Pfizer and Merck improved significantly, but tht of GlaxoSmithKline Pharma and Novartis India shares declined during the year 2017.

However, several pharma scrips like Lupin Glenmark, Dr Reddy's, Ajanta Pharma, IOL Chemicals, Neuland Laboratories, Sun Pharmaceutical, Shilpa Medicare, Alembic Pharma, GlaxoSmithKline Pharma, Orchid Pharma, Strides Shasun, declined sharply by over 10 per cent during 2017. Biocon issued bonus shares and currently scrip is moving around Rs.550. Claris Lifesciences has decided to delist its scrip from stock exchanges. ERIS Life Sciences, which entered capital market in June 2017, is moving around Rs.757 on BSE. Shalby Ltd also entered capital market During December 2017, is moving around Rs.215.

Among the pharma segment, the market capitalisation of Sun Pharma worked out to Rs.1,36,949 crore as at the end of December 2017 on BSE. Followed by Piramal Enterprises (Rs.49,469 crore), Cipla (Rs.49,069 crore), Cadila Healthcare (Rs.44,389 crore), Aurobindo (Rs.40,250 crore), Lupin (Rs.39,989 crore), DRL (Rs.40,036 crore) and Biocon (Rs.32,235 crore).

The healthcare segment related to pharma sector achieved mixed performance during 2017. Apollo Hospitals, Fortis Hospitals, Narayana Hrudayalaya, Dr Lal Pathlab, Healthcare Global Enterprises, Thyrocare Technologies, etc received better investors support. Apollo Hospitals scrip is closed at Rs.1,207 as against Rs.1,179.60 on the last day of 2016. Fortis Healthcare, Narayana Hrudayalaya and Dr Lal Pathlab scrips were under pressure. The year 2017 was not good in terms of healthcare due to demonetization and government policies.

The resolving quality issues with US FDA will be key issue to improve working and established strong presence in lucrative market. Considering higher approvals from US FDA and higher investments in R&D may turn into better results in the near future. Lower interest rates and GST implementation will play crucial role in future growth. Further, movements in foreign exchange rates will be another factor to influence export earnings of Indian pharma working. As per the AIOCD-AWCES monthly report the Indian Pharma market during January-November 2017 improved by 5.7 per cent to Rs.106,432 crore from Rs.100,680 crore in the previous year.


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