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Why the Acrux Limited share price has cratered in 2017

The Acrux Limited (ASX: ACR) share price has been one of the worst performers on the Australian share market over recent times, with the stock down an incredible 93% over the past five years.

The testosterone-therapy manufacturer was once touted as the ASX’s next big healthcare company as sales of its Axiron testosterone product grew strongly in North America.

However, investors have been gripped with fear over the product’s future after concerns were raised that competitors may be able to launch similar generic products after its product patent was ruled “invalid” by a U.S. district court.

The compay’s Axiron sales over the course of 2016 at US$145.2 million were only marginally down on 2015, although over the past year the share price has plunged 58%, almost entirely on concerns that that the company is set to face increased competition from generic competitors.

The company is still profitable and developing other products with a strong balance sheet, while it is also appealing the US District Court’s decision to the higher Federal Circuit appeal court with a decision expected by Q1 FY 2018.

Acrux shares are potentially cheap at 28 cents and potentially very cheap if the company is successful in its legal challenge to have the adverse patent ruling reversed.

I would keep Acrux shares on the speculative watch list for now as there are plenty of other junior healthcare businesses that have big profits you could buy instead.

One to watch is the cheap-looking Lifehealthcare Group Ltd (ASX: LHC), while others like Paragon Care Ltd. (ASX: PGC) are paying dividends, growing profits, and appear to trade on attractive valuations.

A Big, Fat, Fully Franked Dividend

This company's dividend is almost the stuff of legends. Since it started paying dividends in 2007, it has increased its payout to shareholders every single year, a run that includes 21 consecutive dividend increases.

Based on the last 12-months of dividends, its shares are currently offering a fully-franked 4.8% yield, which grosses up to almost 7% when those franking credits are included. And in stark contrast to the likes of Commonwealth Bank and Telstra, this company just increased its dividend by over 13%, and guided for 2017 profits to grow by 20%!

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson owns shares of LifeHealthcare Group Limited.

You can find Tom on Twitter @tommyr345

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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