3 No-Brainer Stocks to Buy in July


July is for barbecues, fireworks, and vacations. Many people don’t want to think too hard about anything. Three Fool.com contributors think they have solutions for those investors who don’t want to think too hard.

Here’s why they picked Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: REGN), and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX) as no-brainer biotech stocks to buy in July.

Eli Lilly is likely to surpass $1 trillion in value

David Jagielski (Eli Lilly): One of the best growth stocks you can buy right now is Eli Lilly. The healthcare company has plenty of growth catalysts in its portfolio, which can pave the way for its valuation to soar past $1 trillion.

Today, it has diabetes treatment Mounjaro and recently approved weight loss drug Zepbound, which together have generated $2.3 billion in revenue in the first three months of the year. Mounjaro is now the company’s top-selling drug, overtaking Trulicity. And there’s much more growth ahead.

Eli Lilly may have a couple of more promising weight-loss products to add to its growing portfolio. Retatrutide is in phase 3 trials and has been showing impressive results, helping patients lose 24% of their weight, in what could be its best weight loss drug yet. Its oral pill, orforglipron, is also in late-stage trials and could be yet another catalyst.

Beyond weight loss, another promising product is its Alzheimer’s treatment donanemab, which looks poised to be a blockbuster as well. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the drug, which Lilly will market under the brand name Kisunla.

Eli Lilly’s stock has nearly doubled in the past 12 months, and with so much growth still on the horizon for the business, it’s hard not to like the stock for the long haul. What better time to buy the stock than in July, right before it reports earnings in August and investors get insight into how much more revenue Zepbound and Mounjaro are generating, along with potential upgrades to its forecast?

Not only is this healthcare stock the odds-on favorite to hit $1 trillion first, but it could also blow past that valuation in the long haul.

Regeneron shows no signs of slowing down

Prosper Junior Bakiny (Regeneron Pharmaceuticals): It hasn’t always been pretty, easy, or straightforward, but Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has delivered returns well above average in the past five years. We can point to the drugmaker’s innovative abilities to explain that performance. During the earlier days of the pandemic, Regeneron developed and marketed a COVID-19 antibody that meaningfully contributed to its revenue. Sales of this product fell off a cliff last year.

However, Regeneron can still count on two of its leading assets: eczema treatment Dupixent, and Eylea, which treats wet age-related macular degeneration. Dupixent looks particularly promising. It has been Regeneron’s biggest growth driver for some time, and it is about to get even better. The company is seeking a label expansion for its crown jewel in treating COPD, which it just obtained in the European Union. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration could grant the same label expansion by late September.

To what effect? Estimates vary, but some analysts expect the COPD indication to add $3.5 billion to Dupixent’s sales. The medicine’s revenue last year, recorded by Regeneron’s partner on this program, Sanofi was about $11.6 billion.

Regeneron has other growth drivers beyond Dupixent and Eylea, and, importantly, it has an exciting pipeline of candidates. The company has one particularly exciting early-stage program, a gene therapy for genetic deafness, that has restored hearing in one patient and significantly improved it in another in an ongoing phase 1/2 study.

There’s a long way to go for this candidate, but whether it succeeds or not, Regeneron’s pipeline features more than four-dozen candidates. The company’s history of innovation speaks for itself. Regeneron should be able to deliver important breakthroughs and generate excellent financial results over the long run, just as in the past. Strong stock market performances should follow.

Sit back and watch Vertex continue to grow

Keith Speights (Vertex Pharmaceuticals): I think Vertex Pharmaceuticals is the kind of stock you can buy, then sit back and watch it grow. That’s because the big biotech company has several growth drivers that should work to its advantage.

The obvious one is Vertex’s cystic fibrosis (CF) franchise. Its blockbuster drug Trikafta/Kaftrio dominates the CF market. No other company has an approved therapy that treats the underlying cause of CF.

Vertex could soon have another big winner in the CF indication, though. The FDA is set to make an approval decision on the company’s vanzacaftor triple combination by Jan. 2, 2025.

Vertex’s newest approved product, Casgevy, should also soon begin to rake in impressive revenue. It’s the first CRISPR gene-editing therapy to win regulatory approval. Casgevy is a one-and-done treatment for sickle cell disease and transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia.

Keep your eyes on suzetrigine (VX-548) as well. Vertex could win U.S. approval for the non-opioid drug in treating acute pain early next year. The company is also advancing the drug into a phase 2 study targeting peripheral neuropathic pain. Suzetrigine should have a tremendous commercial opportunity.

Vertex’s pipeline features another promising late-stage program, inaxaplin, which targets APOL1-mediated kidney disease (AMKD). The company sees a path to file for accelerated approval for the drug if the results from a planned interim analysis after 48 weeks of treatment look good.

The pending acquisition of Alpine Immune Sciences could give Vertex yet another late-stage candidate. Vertex views Alpine’s povetacicept, a potential kidney disease treatment, as a “pipeline-in-a-product” that could lead to other treatments down the road.

There’s always some level of risk with any biotech stock. However, I think Vertex’s odds of success look very good.

Should you invest $1,000 in Vertex Pharmaceuticals right now?

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David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Keith Speights has positions in Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Prosper Junior Bakiny has positions in Vertex Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Vertex Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

3 No-Brainer Stocks to Buy in July was originally published by The Motley Fool

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