Aspen Hurts

14-SEP-18

Aspen Pharmacare, a long-beloved Vestact stock, reported its annual results yesterday, for the period to the end of June 2018. Simultaneously, they announced the sale of their global infant nutritional (baby milk formula) business, for just under R13 billion.


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Aspen 6-month numbers - solid growth

13-MAR-18

Towards the end of last week Aspen released their 6-month results for the period ending 31 December 2017. As expected from the trading update, the growth in earnings looked solid. Revenues grew by 11%, and headline earnings grew by 26%. The below table shows the businesses product breakdown by revenue. The pie graph below then shows the product mix by region.


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Aspen get approval for Alula in China

16-JAN-18

Yesterday Aspen announced that they received approval in China for their Alula brand of infant milk formula. The company indicated in their last set of results that they were on track to get the approval, it is still a huge step for the company. You may remember the 2008 Chinese milk scandal, where babies in China died and thousands were hospitalised due to poorly manufactured infant formula. The result of the scandal is that brands matter in China. You would rather pay up for a well know international brand than an unknown local brand.


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Aspen's intangible assets

11-JAN-18

One of the main concerns with Aspen is their high intangible asset level on the balance sheet. An intangible asset is an asset that is not physical in nature and includes things like trademarks, patents and goodwill. This often means that the valuation is somewhat subjective.


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Aspen, Viceroy rumours

10-JAN-18

For many investors they had flashbacks of Steinhoff yesterday as the Aspen share price dropped 10% and the the words 'Viceroy report' were mentioned. Viceroy Research were the guys who published a report showing how Steinhoff were cooking the books. This Tweet from Viceroy in late December confirms that they have a South African company in their sites.


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Aspen FY numbers - Back on track

18-SEP-17

On Thursday we had full year earnings from Aspen, one of our biggest local holdings. This one certainly deserves a closer look.


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Follow up to results

10-MAR-17

Some more on the Aspen H1 results from yesterday. Make sure that you watch this fabulous interview (that lasted longer than initially) - Aspen H1 normalised HEPS up 6%, see the imbedded video below. Self inflicted (supply chain) problems in South Africa, those have been fixed and a turnaround is afoot. An interesting question, when asked about why own Aspen today, at these levels, he gives an answer which I suspect a shareholder should expect. He said that 40 reporting periods of increased earnings, time and time again, tells you something. And he tells of how the business was harder at the beginning, cap in hand sitting in front of the bank manager. In some ways he says, it is easier to run a bigger business. Interesting perspective, not too dissimilar to those of Phil Knight of Nike in his book, Shoe Dog.


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Aspen HY 2017 - locking down purchases

09-MAR-17

Aspen released numbers for their six months to end December this morning. This is a business that has transformed from being a small to major generics business, to now positioning themselves as a (in their words) "global, multinational organisation focused on therapeutic specialties." Anticoagulants (to treat thrombosis) and anesthetics, much of this is new business. This compliments their older businesses, infant nutritional (formula and the like) and lastly the High Potency & Cytotoxics division.


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Aspen's fine in Italy

20-OCT-16

I read (thanks to Google alerts) that Aspen to appeal Italian Competition Authority fine for alleged excessive price hikes. When is it acceptable to stick up the price of a therapy? Aspen are arguing, as per the news article, that they were charging 2 Euros (30.41 Rand) per pill. A pill a day for a month is then 912 Rand, 60 Euros of course. These are blood cancer drugs and were approved for sale back in 2013.


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GSK sells all their Aspen

03-OCT-16

It was bound to happen sooner or later, the news filtered through Wednesday evening via Reuters that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) were selling their remaining stake in Aspen. Stephen Saad was asked at the CNBC Africa's awards ceremony on Thursday evening what he thought of all of this, and about the future of the business. 28.2 million shares, or 6.2 percent of the business was placed via an accelerated bookbuild. No price was given. Back to the interview, Saad was given the "All Africa Business Leaders Award for Southern Africa" - here is the interview: Aspen CEO wins the AABLA 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year award.


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Aspen FY 2016 numbers

15-SEP-16

Aspen results! Those were released mid afternoon here in Jozi, the stock reacted positively, notwithstanding being smashed last week when the trading statement revealed the BS they have to put up with in Venezuela. Stephen Saad said that when the Venezuelan Deputy President was here in Msanzi not so long ago, spewing garbage about their awesomeness (how can you tell I am not a fan?), there were assurances of being paid, and guess what? They didn't materialise! What a twist, socialists lying!!! In theory sharing is actually caring, when big purple dinosaurs tell you to do so with biscuits or crisps or plastic play things, when we grow up instinct kicks in. I am afraid whilst we can organise ourselves into some sort of working patterns in cities and in the workplace (and so on), the early instincts of oneupmanship still remain, it is hard coded to perform better than your peers. You can try and take that away, sorry, it doesn't work.


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Aspen update on GSK deal

13-SEP-16

Aspen released an update that had several parts to it. This is all ahead of their results which are tomorrow, with the presentation of said results on Thursday, Michael is heading off to the results. I hope he sleeps on Wednesday night and isn't too excited. You can find the release from yesterday here - Aspen GSK Announcement. The first part of the release deals with a transaction in which Aspen Global Incorporated (AGI) will acquire from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a series of five established medicines, one general anaesthetic (Ultiva) and then four muscle relaxants (Nimbex, Mivacron, Tracrium and Anectine). According to the Ultiva website, the drug is rapid response and has an equally rapid recovery. Used for spine, orthopaedic, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT), cardiac and other procedures. Wikipedia suggests that the active ingredient in Ultiva, Remifentanil, is 100 to 200 times as potent as morphine. Whoa!


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Aspen negative trading update

08-SEP-16

Another stock that is taking heat this morning is Aspen Pharmacare. They released a trading statement yesterday afternoon late, after market closed. The company is taking a 870 million Rand hit on the Venezuelan Bolivar having devalued so much. That country is broken. The bus driver president, hand picked by Hugo Chavez, has inherited dumb economic policies that have driven the country off a cliff. Herewith the table that lays out the comparable and what they are likely to be:


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Aspen debt raise & deal with AstraZeneca

09-JUN-16

Two sets of news from Aspen yesterday and then this morning. First, the news came yesterday afternoon that the company had obtained funding facilities of 3 billion Euros. I will do a copy and paste of the announcement:


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Aspen 6 month numbers - still showing good growth

04-MAR-16

Aspen Pharma released numbers yesterday afternoon, remembering that we covered their trading update a while ago -> Aspen Trading statement. That was pretty detailed, for a trading update. I guess the reason why we went into all the detail was simple, the stock has really performed badly. And often people refer to the company and the stock price as one and the same, we are all guilty of that. So, I guess when the share price is sliding away, there is something "wrong" with the company, when the stock price goes up, it has to be a "good one". Human nature dictates this to be so, for many of us.


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