Last week, Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk announced its first quarter earnings beating estimates, raising its growth outlook for the rest of 2022 and expanding its buyback program, reports Reuters.
Novo Nordisk’s first quarter operating profit was 19 billion Danish crowns (approximately $2.69 billion), well above the estimated 17 billion Danish crowns. The company has also lifted its sales estimates 10%-14% in local currency, a gain from the previous estimates of 6%-10% for the remainder of the year, with production estimates also growing.
“We are very pleased with the sales growth in the first three months of 2022 which is driven by increasing demand for our GLP-1-based treatments,” CEO Lars Jorgensen said in a statement, referring to the company’s newer line of diabetes and obesity drugs.
The company has also announced that it will expand its buyback program by another 2 billion Danish crowns to a total of 24 billion crowns.
The newest obesity drug, Wegovy, is expected to help drive some of that growth as commercial production resumes after being halted in December; the drug should be fully available within the U.S. in the second half of 2022 and is highly anticipated.
Another main drug, Ozempic, used to treat diabetes, has contributed to recent growth, making up 12 billion in sales in local currency in Q1, a 70% growth. Demand is so great that the company has factored in some supply constraints into its newest estimates, which shouldn’t impact the growth of the business overall.
“We have seen some (supply issues), but none of them something that is material to Novo Nordisk,” Jorgensen said to journalists on a call.
Investing in Novo Nordisk With HART
The IQ Healthy Hearts ETF (HART) seeks to provide exposure to companies that diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease, companies that have above-average involvement in healthy food and wellness products, companies that offer solutions for people looking to track their fitness and participate in regular exercise, and companies that provide health education resources through IT services.
The fund seeks to track the IQ Candriam Healthy Hearts Index and invests across all market caps and in the U.S. and emerging markets. It does exclude some countries, including China. Companies are screened thematically for heart health-related revenue and/or impact to heart health objectives as laid out by the fund. The index also utilizes an exclusionary screen for companies that aren’t compliant with the UN Global Compact or engage in certain activities such as animal testing, nuclear exposure, and gambling. Companies that operate in countries with oppressive regimes are also excluded.
Novo Nordisk is one of the top three holdings of the fund at a 5.6% weight.
HART carries an expense ratio of 0.45% and currently invests in 80 companies.
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