) recently announced that its Board of Directors will propose to
elect Christoph Franz as the new Chairman at the Annual
Shareholder Meeting scheduled for Mar 2014.
Franz is nominated to succeed the current Chairman, Franz B.
Humer, who would not be standing for re-election. Humer has been
serving Roche in numerous positions since 1995.
Franz is currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the
Germany-based Lufthansa Group. However, he will not renew his
contract as the company's CEO beyond May 2014. We remind
investors that Franz has also been on Roche's Board since
We note that Roche Holding is a leading healthcare company
which discovers, develops and provides innovative therapeutic
drugs for diverse medical needs in over 150 countries.
Apart from providing therapeutic products and services for
diverse medical needs, Roche also focuses on innovative
diagnostic solutions for the early detection and treatment of
The company generated revenues of CHF 45.5 billion in 2012.
The core area of focus for Roche continues to be oncology, which
accounted for 61% of total pharmaceutical sales in 2012.
We were impressed by the company's solid performance in the
first half of 2013. The outlook for 2013 is bright as
Roche continues to expect sales in 2013 to increase in line
with 2012 growth rates. Roche expects core earnings per share to
grow at a higher rate than sales in 2013. Moreover, Roche expects
to further increase its dividend in 2013.
However, increasing competition from biosimilars will pose as
a major challenge for the new Chairman.
Roche currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other
stocks that look attractive include
). All three carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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