From the Desk of Irwin Michael – February 5, 2016

One of our favoured ABC Funds’ biopharmaceutical holdings is Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD). Gilead discovers, develops, and commercializes medicines in areas of unmet needs around the world. Its flagship drugs are Sovaldi and Harvoni, both of which are used to treat Hepatitis C.

On Tuesday February 2, Gilead announced impressive earnings results, which were significantly better than analysts’ predictions. Revenues for the quarter were $8.5 billion, up 16% compared with last year, and well above expectations of $8.14 billion. Additionally, earnings per share increased 36% from last year to $3.32, compared to analysts’ estimates of $2.99 and the company boosted its quarterly dividend by 4¢ to 47¢ starting in Q2 2016. These results were driven by the continued strong demand for Gilead’s drugs. Moreover, Gilead increased its share buyback program to $12 billion.

Overall, we believe that Gilead is extraordinarily attractive given its strong balance sheet, free cash flow, growing top and bottom line performance, a 2% dividend yield, and future innovation in developing new drugs.

Irwin A. Michael Signature

Irwin A. Michael, President
I.A. Michael Investment Counsel Ltd.

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