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Why Bausch Health Stock Popped on Friday

What happened

Bausch Health (NYSE: BHC), a multinational eye care and speciality pharmaceutical company, saw its shares gain a healthy 15.9% last Friday. Bausch, like many other healthcare companies, rebounded at the end of the week after President Trump's declaration of a national emergency, combined with the widespread assumption that Congress would ultimately pass a sweeping economic stimulus package with bipartisan support in the near future.

Even so, Bausch's shares still ended the week down by 10.3%. The good news is that the company's stock performed slightly better than the broader biopharmaceutical industry during this turbulent period. The closely watched iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF, after all, shed over 12% of its value last week as a result of the growing concerns over the global economic and public health impact of the COVID-19 illness.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Bausch's dramatic sell-off before Friday's rebound didn't make a whole lot of sense from a fundamental standpoint. While the company's debt-to-equity ratio is still worryingly high at 2,305, Bausch's management has taken a number of proactive steps to deleverage the biopharma's balance sheet and put it back on solid financial footing by the middle of the current decade.

What's more, the company's stock has consistently been one of the cheapest names in the space over the past few years. In fact, Bausch's shares were even trading at an absurdly low forward-looking price-to-sales ratio of 0.62 at the peak of last week's bloodbath. To put this valuation metric into the proper context, the average healthcare stock trades at no less than three times next year's projected sales.

Now what

Can Bausch's stock continue to head higher in the weeks ahead? With the COVID-19 illness spooking investors, there's no way to know what's in store for Bausch for the remainder of the year. That said, this company is grossly undervalued relative to its long-term growth prospects. So if you're willing to ride out this short-term volatility, it might be a good idea to grab a few shares of this diversified healthcare stock on any further weakness.

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George Budwell has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Bausch Health Companies. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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