(By Balachander) Goldman Sachs (GS) analysts added shares of Baxter International (NYSE: BAX) to their "Conviction Buy" List, citing the healthcare company's underappreciated product cycle and potential for dividend increase in the second half.
The brokerage also raised price target on the stock to $64 from $63, implying 28 percent upside from current levels, given higher long-term EPS growth estimates.
BAX shares are down 16.5 percent (vs. S&P 500 -4.5 percent) since April 1, 2012, given a major new product delay, concerns over earnings growth and increased competition in key franchises, the brokerage noted.
Nevertheless, analysts at GS said the company's underappreciated pipeline and potential for favorable capital allocation event in 2H2012 support bullish view.
GS analysts David Roman and Isaac Ro expects new products driving accelerating top-line growth to almost 6 percent in 2014 from 3 percent organic in 2012.
Several 1X headwinds negatively impacting the P&L this year should abate in 2013, driving a potential earnings inflection point.
New products should also offset pending competitive pressures from Biogen in the hemophilia business, the analysts said.
The analysts see a major capital allocation event as likely in 2H2012, potentially as a dividend increase. Roman and Ro think it could be a $250 million increase —a 4 percent yield.
Deerfield, Illinois-based Baxter develops recombinant and plasma-based proteins that treat hemophilia and immune deficiencies. Baxter's Medical Products business also provides Renal home-based therapies to treat end-stage kidney disease.
The stock, which has been trading between $47.55 and $62.50 over the past year, rose 2.24 percent to trade at $51.04 on Tuesday.