Indivior is the biggest FTSE 250 gainer today. Would I buy it now?

The Indivior share price is up after it posted a surprisingly good financial update. Is it a buy now?

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The FTSE 250 opioid addiction treatment provider Indivior (LSE: INDV) is the biggest index gainer today as I write. Its share price is up 9%, continuing its recovery after a sharp fall in late November.

Why the share price rose

INDV’s better-than-expected financial results are the clear reason for the uptick in share price. It now expects revenue to be at least $25m higher than it had expected earlier for the full year. It also expects expenses to be lower, resulting in an improved income forecast. 

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What’s next for the INDV share price

I reckon that the latest news will provide continued impetus for INDV’s share price. It’s now at 115p, up from the sub-100p levels it was at before the last week of December. The big decline started in late November, when it crashed 30% in a day following news that its former parent company — Reckitt Benckiser — had filed a £1bn claim on it. 

Even now the share price is still much lower than its 131p levels at the time. But at least it’s now closer than ever to getting back there.

When I last wrote about Indivior, after its share price fall, my sense was that its share price would be dependent more on its own performance than anything else. If the share price reaction to its latest results is anything to go by, it only proves the point I was making at the time. If its performance remains consistent, I reckon that its share price can climb up further.

This is especially so in today’s bullish market, where investors are rewarding companies that are performing well. 

Battling the opioid crisis

Moreover, the seriousness of the opioid crisis is big and rising, an issue that Indivior is well placed to address. According to the World Health Organisation, globally 0.5m deaths are caused by drug use every year, of which 70% are opioid-related. Moreover, between 2010 and 2018, the number of people dying of opioid overdose in the US increased by 120%. 

Past problems still haunt

Despite this, as an investor I’m cautious because of INDV’s problems from the recent past, which include accusations of mis-selling and resulted in its former CEO being imprisoned. Almost two months after I wrote about INDV, it indeed appears to have put the episode behind it. It has also said that Reckitt Benckiser’s claim is without merit. 

Further, its financials had suffered quite the blow in the first nine months of 2020, with a sharp decline in revenue. The latest numbers, then, are a surprise development and not one that reflects the inherent, ongoing strength of the company. 

Takeaway for the FTSE 250 stock

I think the INDV stock looks much better after its results than it did two months ago when it was far more in the thick of a crisis. It could continue to see improvements from here. But I really want to see some more predictability to its financials before buying the stock. 

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