Stock Story: ResMed
Airlie Funds Management
ResMed is the global leader in sleep and respiratory care primarily focused on the development and sale of positive airway pressure devices and accessories for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). ResMed's share price has fallen 30% since the release of its FY23 results in August largely in response to concerns GLP-1 (Glucagon-Like Peptide-1) drugs may reduce its addressable market. In this article, we discuss the business in more detail and why we think the GLP-1 concerns are overdone.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)?
Obstructive sleep apnoea is a chronic illness that occurs when the muscles that support tissues in the back of the throat relax during sleep, blocking or narrowing the upper airway. This obstruction leads to impaired breathing for a short period (usually 10-20 seconds), which results in lower oxygen in the blood. The brain senses the impaired breathing, causing the individual to subconsciously rouse from sleep in order to reopen the airway. The severity of OSA is characterised by the number of events per hour: Normal < 5; Moderate 15-30; Severe > 30.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices are the accepted standard of care for treating OSA, delivering a stream of pressurised air through a mask to prevent the collapse of the upper airway during sleep. ResMed is the largest manufacturer of these products and we estimate the company currently has ~80% market share with its major competitor Philips out of the market for the past two years due to an FDA-imposed product recall.
Large, undiagnosed addressable market
The OSA market is large and mostly undiagnosed. According to the company, there are 936 million people globally with sleep apnoea and 424 million of these suffer from severe sleep apnoea. The size of the addressable market is evidenced by the fact ResMed had grown its device revenue at over 9% p.a. in the six years prior to the Philips recall (FY13-FY19). Recent growth rates have been even higher. ResMed estimates that penetration currently sits at 20% in the US and well below this percentage globally, which implies a long runway for future device and mask sales.
Figure 1 - ResMed device revenue (US$)
One of the highest-quality companies on the ASX
As with any new position, we tested ResMed against our key investment criteria and consider the business to be high quality based on the following factors:
GLP-1 concerns and valuation
ResMed has historically traded on a forward multiple of 28x PE but is currently trading on less than 21x PE due to market concerns about GLP-1 drugs reducing ResMed's addressable market.
Figure 2 - ResMed NTM Rolling PE
GLP-1 drugs (branded as Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro) act by mimicking hormones that are released into the gastrointestinal tract in response to eating. These drugs were initially developed to target type 2 diabetes by stimulating more insulin production but have evolved to potential applications in weight management and cardiovascular indications. Given obesity is a key risk factor for OSA (see Figures 3 and 4), there is a view that significant weight reduction from taking GLP-1s may result in reduced demand for CPAP therapy.
Figure 3 - OSA severity by AHI (>5 mild) and (>15 moderate)
While we are not medical experts, we consider the significant de-rate to be an overreaction for the following reasons:
Overall, we think the uncertainty as to the potential penetration and success of these drugs in treating OSA has created a rare opportunity to invest in one of the highest quality companies on the ASX. While we are unlikely to pick the bottom, we believe the company is trading well below its intrinsic value.
By Vinay Ranjan, Senior Equities Analyst
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