E The Norsemen And Mounties Are Coming

Because Monday is a public holiday celebrating two of our presidents, Washington and Lincoln, it gives us a chance to take a break from their current successor's rants and raves against, among other fiends, the free press, of which I am a part. The markets are digesting big news, including a bid for Unilever by Kraft and, in our case, lots of quarterly and annual reports.

With a holiday coming, equity traders are busily locking in some recent wow profits with sales, taking down the markets to take some money off the table, not just in Trumplandia, but worldwide.

The dollar is down too, maybe because of the terrifying press conference and the clear disarray of the current administration.

There will be no blog Monday. We also have a new stock pick in anticipation of St. Patrick's Day, from Ireland plus an explan​a​tion of my headline.

For years I have resisted the charms of Shire plc of Ireland whose primary listing is in London because I think its key drug, for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, is a racket to protect schoolteachers who cannot control their classes. However, my son, a CFA married to an education PhD, has long put SHPG ADRs in accounts his firm manages (including my managed pension plan).

Shire yesterday reported good results both from internal growth and its $32 billion takeover of Baxalta last Jan. The former was the ADHD franchise and the latter new businesses. And the growth of sales in 2016 of 78% to $11.39 billion came mostly from Baxalta lines helped Shire beat analyst forecasts. New treatment lines, including Baxalta ones, accounted for $8.6 billion of the growth last year. New drugs in non-oncology rare diseases and internal medicines, up 14% and 17% respectively last year and include hematology, immunology, opthtamic, lysosomal disorders, and neuroscience. (The latter includes ADHD.) Shire is now a key rare disease drug-maker.

Last year it used the money partly to cut the debt from the Baxalta deal by $1 bn. CEO Flemming Ornskow said paying down the $22 billion it still owes is a key challenge for the current year with his aim to get it down to 2 to 3 x cash flow. This hit $4.7 billion last year.

The new drugs include Cinryze and Firzyr to treat hereditary angio-edema plus other genetic diseases, which now account of $2.7 billion of sales. Another winner was Xiildra to treat dry eyes which accounted for a quarter of US sales. Meanwhile Vyvanse, the ADHD drug sold $2 billion, below forecasts. CEO Ornskow forecast that revenue will rise in double-digits this year with as the key for the current one. Many new meds were launched last year but are only beginning to gain market share. He said sales should reach $14.5-14.8 billion this year. Moreover there are still more synergies between the two drug lines in the plan, cutting costs.

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