Healthcare - Overall: Micro to mid-cap catalyst table

About the author:

Iain Wilkie
Author name:
By Iain Wilkie
Job title:
Research Analyst
Date posted:
17 March 2022, 11:00 AM
Sectors Covered:
Healthcare and Life Sciences

  • We have compiled a list of 75 ASX-listed micro to mid-cap healthcare/life science companies and highlight key catalysts expected to read out over the next 18 months.
  • In this report, we have listed each company into broad categories (medical devices, services, wound care, oncology, delivery technologies, SaaS).
  • We view the information as a guide around timing of major events while adding a market impact overlay to highlight potentially significant event reactions (good or bad).
  • While healthcare is broadly viewed as a safe-haven asset class, this rarely applies to pre-revenue or pre-profit life science companies. Instead, investors rely on achievement of catalysts or progression events to de-risk and provide clarity on the commercial prospects of the asset, which in turn drives shareholder interest.
  • The information has been compiled based on best endeavours from a scan through recent company updates as well as company input. While the list is not exhaustive, with likely subsequent milestones and timing estimates dependent on the progress of preceding events, we see this as a simple snapshot on a broad range of healthcare companies and some of the main news flow expected.

Catalysts our team is watching in 1HCY22

Neuren Pharma (NEU): Pre NDA meeting with FDA / NDA submission - Retts / Commencement of Ph2 (Phelan-McDermid, Angelman, Pitt Hopkins syndromes). 

Proteomics (PIQ): Potential US licensing deal (ProMarkerD) / Endometriosis trial results / First sales ProMarkerD in EU. 

ResApp (RAP): Top-line results from COVID-19 study.

Volpara (VHT): Material contract wins (ongoing).

Telix Pharmaceuticals (TLX): Illucix reimbursement decision / Ph1 glioblastoma commencement / first commercial sales AUS/US/EMA update.

Recent major catalysts and share price reactions

Neuren Pharmaceutical (NEU): 7-Dec-21 - Positive Ph3 Retts Syndrome topline results (-3.7% in 30-day leadup, +120% in 30 days post).

Telix Pharmaceutical (TLX): 20-Dec-21 - Positive FDA approval of prostate cancer imaging product Illucix (+10.5% in 30-day leadup, +2.5% in 30 days post). 

Anteotech (ADO): 10-Jan-2022 - Negative TGA registration update #3. Further data required for COVID RDT (-7.8% in 30-day leadup, -60% in 30 days post).

Quarter in review (January to March 2022)

Broad underperformance across the sector followed a re-organisation of risk in capital markets as inflationary pressures and geopolitical instability aided a sharp rotation from growth into defensives/value equities.

The weakness not just limited to smaller markets, with the ASX200 healthcare constituents declining 14.3% over the period to date (1 Jan-17 Mar) although better-than-average declines of 19.7% across the balance of the list (market cap agnostic averages).

Figure 1: ASX listed healthcare heatmap (180 stocks) since 1 Jan 2022 – broad weakness including ASX200 constituents (highlighted in box)

Growth stocks have had a choppy ride since the onset of the pandemicSource: Morgans Financial, IRESS, Priced as at 17 March 2022

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this report is provided to you by Morgans Financial Limited as general advice only, and is made without consideration of an individual's relevant personal circumstances. Morgans Financial Limited ABN 49 010 669 726, its related bodies corporate, directors and officers, employees, authorised representatives and agents (“Morgans”) do not accept any liability for any loss or damage arising from or in connection with any action taken or not taken on the basis of information contained in this report, or for any errors or omissions contained within. It is recommended that any persons who wish to act upon this report consult with their Morgans investment adviser before doing so.

Solid top-line outcome: BAP’s 1Q22 revenue was flat on the pcp, an extremely resilient result given the extent of lockdowns in the period (~70% of stores impacted) and the strength of the pcp (cycling 27% growth). Composition comprised: Trade +2%; NZ -10%; Retail -12%; and Specialist Wholesale +7%. Overall, BAP stated that non-lockdown areas are outperforming expectations. ▪ 1Q22 trade & retail: Trade/Burson revenue was up +2% on the pcp (LFL sales - 1%; cycling 8% pcp); NZ/BNT revenue was down -10% (LFL sales -15%; cycling +4%); and Retail/Autobarn revenue was down -12% (LFL sales -16%; cycling +36%). Within the Retail segment, online sales were +80% on the pcp. Stores percentages impacted by lockdown were: Trade 70%; NZ 100%; and Retail 50%. ▪ Specialist segment results: Specialist wholesale revenue is up 7% on pcp, with Auto electrical/Truckline divisions ‘performing strongly’; and WANO underperforming. ▪ GM pressure expected to be temporary: BAP stated GM was stable across Wholesale and NZ (45% of FY21 revenue); and down ~50bps Trade and Retail (~55% of FY21 revenue), driven by promotional and online pricing in lockdown areas (we assume no margin pressure witnessed in non-lockdown areas). BAP expect margins to revert once lockdowns ease. ▪ The cost base has increased vs pcp, a function of duplicated DC costs (commencement of new VIC DC), and higher group and team member support (covid related) costs. BAP noted FY22 store rollouts and refurbs are on track.

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