Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOR) and Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) may seem to have little to nothing in common on the surface. Questcor is in the pharmaceutical business, while Under Armour is the sports apparel and casual wear business. The world has now seen that Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ONXX) is being acquired for some $10.4 billion. The commonality between Questcor and Under Armour is that they were featured on the same recent high growth list of public companies expected to double their revenues over the next two to four years.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOR) is growing with its Acthar Gel drug, because of uses in multiple sclerosis, rheumatology and other conditions. Its sales were $509 million in 2012 and its sales had already doubled. The Thomson Reuters estimates are about $725 million in revenue for 2013 and $910 million in revenue for 2014, with potential blockbuster levels over $1 billion in 2015. This company is controversial and short sellers have tried to send it to showers before. If an emerging cancer player can be bought for over $10 billion, does $4 billion in market cap make this one too expensive to buy?
Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) is now a solid competitor with Nike or Adidas in many segments of sporting goods and apparel, and its market cap was recently about $7.6 billion. The company doubled its sales from 2009 to 2012, up to $1.8 billion, and it plans to do so again. The Thomson Reuters consensus target is $2.75 billion by the end of 2014, but the promise to doubles sales came from its own management team as its CEO detailed a plan to reach $4 billion in revenue by 2016.
We do not want to be in the business of circulating the next buyout lists and the next hot rumor stocks. At the same time, any time you see sales hitting a double and still expected to double it is something that has to grab your attention.
We would also point out that Under Armour has been the subject of speculation in the past for acquisition targets, although we will leave it up to you to decide if the market cap is now getting too high to justify an acquisition. Questcor remains a company caught up in controversy between the bulls and bears, and as of now we and other firms count it as being a one-hit company.
Buying growth is nothing new and the Amgen-Onyx buyout will not be the last aggressive growth acquisition. When companies can no longer achieve great growth on their own, chances are high that they will start to look elsewhere for new growth opportunities. They can either start new initiatives or they can go buy that growth opportunity.