The opioid crisis has dominated the 24 hour news cycle for the past four years. President Trump described the opioid crisis a public epidemic that he would personally bring an end to. He threatened to sue opioid manufacturers for their role in creating the crisis. Trump also promised to tamp down the number of opioid prescriptions; ballooning prescriptions coincided with the rise of accidental deaths related to drug overdoses and opioid use. Trump declared that opioid manufacturers should be held responsible, making companies like Teva (TEVA), Endo (ENDP) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) vulnerable.
State AGs struck a $26 billion deal with JNJ, McKesson (MCK), and other big drug distributors for $26 million this week. Including another $6 billion from Mallinckrodt and Purdue Pharma, they have raked in over $30 billion in fees. Last year Joe Burrow was riding high after leading LSU to a national championship win. Burrow threw for 463 yards and five touchdowns, elevating him to GOAT status in football-crazed Louisiana:
LSU IS YOUR NATIONAL CHAMPION, THE BEST TEAM PLAYING ITS BEST FOOTBALL AT THE BEST TIME, THANKS MOSTLY TO THE NATION’S BEST PLAYER. BURROW WAS GREAT WHEN HIS TEAM WASN’T, THEN GREAT WHEN IT WAS. HE ENDED THE NIGHT WITH 31 COMPLETIONS (IN 49 ATTEMPTS), 463 YARDS, FIVE TOUCHDOWNS AND ONE FAT, LIT STOGIE DANGLING FROM HIS MOUTH. HIS COACH, ED ORGERON, WARNED HIM, “TAKE IT EASY ON THAT SEE-GAR, BOY,” AS THOUGH BURROW MIGHT DROP IT AND BURN HIS LEG OFF OR SOMETHING. THE GUY JUST SPENT FOUR MONTHS SETTING COLLEGE FOOTBALL ON FIRE. HE CAN HANDLE ONE CIGAR.
I begged to differ, however. I believed then that an opioid deal could have made Teva CEO Kare Schultz the GOAT. Teva has come a long way since Schultz took over. The company has pared debt, hived off assets and preserved margins after generic competition for Copaxone, its blockbuster multiple schlerosis drug. Now Teva is on the cusp of signing an opioid deal, and the stock could soon double. Chatter suggests that after reading our article, Burrow became a big fan of Teva and invested in the company. We parse through why the Cincinatti Bengals quarterback could be as good an investor as he is as throwing the rock.