1. How to use GuruFocus - Tutorials
  2. What Is in the GuruFocus Premium Membership?
  3. A DIY Guide on How to Invest Using Guru Strategies
Robert Abbott
Robert Abbott
Articles (899)  | Author's Website |

Horizon Therapeutics vs. Gilead

They come from the same industry but are very different stocks

December 11, 2020 | About:

Horizon Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ:HZNP) and Gilead Sciences Inc (NASDAQ:GILD) are two contrasting stocks from the drug manufacturing industry, in my opinion. What they share is a price that has pulled back recent highs, but that doesn't necessarily make both of them bargains.

Company basics

Horizon describes itself this way in its earnings report for the third quarter of 2020:

"Horizon today is a leading, high-growth biopharma company focused on rare diseases, delivering innovative therapies to patients and generating value for our shareholders. Our strategy is to expand our development-stage pipeline for sustainable growth and maximize the benefit and value of our key growth drivers TEPEZZA and KRYSTEXXA, both rare disease medicines."

Based in Dublin, Ireland, it began trading publicly in July 2011 and has a current market cap of $16.10 billion.

Gilead, which that has been in the news recently for its Remdesivir being approved as a Covid-19 therapy, is a drug manufacturer that specializes in antiviral drugs for conditions such as HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and influenza.

The Foster City, California-based firm has a market cap of $75.70 billion.


Starting with their financial strength ratings, we see Horizon has a modest lead with a rating of 7 out of 10 vs. Gilead's 5 out of 10.

A couple of factors stand out when comparing their financial strength tables: Horizon has less of a debt load and a bigger edge when comparing return on invested capital (ROIC) and weighted average cost of capital (WACC). Notably, Horizon has a ROIC of 39.46% versus a WACC of -1.13%. For Gilead, its ROIC of 5.19% barely beats its WACC of 3.57%.

Turning to profitability, Gilead comes out well ahead with a rating of 8 out of 10 compared with 3 out of 10 for Horizon.

Despite the low rating, Horizon posts some solid metrics:

Horizon Therapeutics profitability

Neither company has a history of consistent revenue and earnings growth; both have predictability scores of 1 out of 5 stars.


The GuruFocus Value chart gives Gilead a ranking of modestly undervalued, while Horizon is listed as significantly overvalued. The latter is no surprise when we see its price chart:

Horizon Therapeutics GF Value chart

Why this huge jump on Horizon's chart? It seems to be mainly because one of its signature drugs, TEPEZZA, which received FDA approval for the treatment of thyroid eye disease (TED) in January.

Gilead's value chart is less inspiring, but perhaps of more interest to value investors:

Gilead GF Value chart

The price-earnings ratio for Gilead, on the other hand, points toward overvaluation; its current price-earnings ratio is 62.25 compared to its 10-year median of 14.65. It has no PEG ratio because its Ebitda growth rate is negative (along with its revenue growth rate).

Horizon's price-earnings ratio also appears to be at odds with its GuruFocus Value rating; it is currently 19.93 compared with its 10-year median of 51.55. There is no PEG ratio for it because its Ebitda growth rates are greater than its price-earnings ratio. Horizon has a 12-month Ebitda growth rate of 62.30% while its three-year growth rate is 42.90%.

Total returns

Often, we can add a trendline to a price chart and derive a reasonable expectation about future capital gains, but neither Gilead nor Horizon has a chart that will do that, because they have had one-time bumps that skew the growth rates:

Gilead price chart

Horizon Therapeutics price chart

Horizon, a fairly young company, does not pay a dividend, while Gilead offers a good dividend yield of 4.42% thanks in part to a declining share price:

Gilead share price and dividend yield

Thus, trying to predict potential future returns based on past results is a fruitless endeavor, in my view.


Horizon is owned by eight of the investing gurus followed by GuruFocus. Others have held positions, but overall, they have been selling more than they have been buying since the end of the first quarter (when TEPEZZA was approved):

Horizon Therapeutics gurus buys and sells

The three biggest positions at the end of the third quarter were held by:

  • Jim Simons (Trades, Portfolio) of Renaissance Technologies, who reduced his stake by 14.86% to end the quarter with 8,780,875 shares. That gives his firm a 3.98% stake in Horizon.
  • John Paulson (Trades, Portfolio) of Paulson & Co reduced his position by 2.9% to finish with 6,691,439 shares.
  • Andreas Halvorsen (Trades, Portfolio) of Viking Global Investors cut back by 20.23% and wound up the quarter with 1,173,744 shares.

Turning to Gilead, a big selloff ended in the second quarter:

Gilead guru buys and sells

Of the 16 gurus who held Gilead stock at the end of the third quarter, these were the biggest holders:

  • Dodge & Cox added 0.12% to its position and on Sept. 30 had 12,607,853 shares, good for a 1.01% stake in Gilead.
  • Jim Simons (Trades, Portfolio) reduced his share count by 14.04%, leaving him with 7,651,879 shares.
  • Pioneer Investments (Trades, Portfolio) added 15.92% to finish the quarter with 4,299,151 shares.


These two different companies from the drug manufacturing industry offer different situations for investors to consider. I think value investors will probably pass on both of them, as both have debt loads and neither offers a compelling valuation.

Growth investors who believe that Horizon Therapeutics can keep growing may see the current pullback as an entry point for potential capital gains.

Income investors may see an opportunity in Gilead; at the current share price, it offers a dividend of more than 4%.

Disclosure: I do not own shares in any of the companies named in this article.

Read more here:

Not a Premium Member of GuruFocus? Sign up for a free 7-day trial here.

About the author:

Robert Abbott
Robert F. Abbott has been investing his family’s accounts since 1995 and in 2010 added options -- mainly covered calls and collars with long stocks.

He is a freelance writer, and his projects include a website that provides information for new and intermediate-level mutual fund investors (whatisamutualfund.com).

As a writer and publisher, Abbott also explores how the middle class has come to own big business through pension funds and mutual funds, what management guru Peter Drucker called the "unseen revolution."

Visit Robert Abbott's Website

Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes)


Please leave your comment:

Performances of the stocks mentioned by Robert Abbott

User Generated Screeners

wigbertHigh FCF-M2
kosalmmuseBest one1
DBrizanall 2019Feb26
kosalmmuseBest one
DBrizanall 2019Feb25
MsDale*52-Week Low
Get WordPress Plugins for easy affiliate links on Stock Tickers and Guru Names | Earn affiliate commissions by embedding GuruFocus Charts
GuruFocus Affiliate Program: Earn up to $400 per referral. ( Learn More)