The bioprocess leader quietly keeps delivering for shareholders.
August 21, 2021
My vote for CEO of the Year (so far) is Tony Hunt of Repligen (NASDAQ: RGEN). A series of acquisitions and investments in recent years prepared the business to step up during the coronavirus pandemic. The company continued meeting the needs of existing companies and quickly scaled output to meet the global challenge of the pandemic.
Repligen supplies the global biopharma industry with filters, purification tools, and analytical products required to manufacture biologic drugs — therapeutic modalities including monoclonal antibodies, gene therapy, cell therapy, and mRNA vaccines. The niche is boring and easy to overlook, but it has certainly rewarded long-term shareholders. Shares have risen 735% in the last five years!
Since Mr. Hunt became the CEO of Repligen in 2015, he’s overseen an expansion of the company’s core offerings, half a dozen acquisitions to augment the product portfolio, and guided the business through the coronavirus pandemic. As a shareholder myself, I’ve been amazed at how the company always seems to be three steps ahead of where the industry is headed. Acquisitions made today might make little sense at first, but three years later they’re solving key problems facing biologic drug developers. It’s pretty impressive.
Consider that Repligen had full-year 2019 revenue of $270 million and full-year 2020 revenue of $366 million — an increase of 35%. Management recently increased full-year 2021 revenue guidance to $635 million at the midpoint, including up to $180 million related to COVID-19 projects. Although a significant amount of recent growth has been derived from the temporary effects of the coronavirus pandemic, investors can clearly see that the underlying business is growing quickly, too.
More importantly, the financial boost from the coronavirus pandemic will surely help the business accelerate growth in the years to come. Case in point: Second-quarter 2021 operating income exceeded the total from 2019. Given the historic affinity for acquisitions, investors have to be giddy with excitement over what Mr. Hunt will do with the company’s record cash position over the next few years.
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