Will 2017 Be Organovo Holdings, Inc.'s Best Year Yet?

By Keith Speights Markets Fool.com

Organovo Holdings (NASDAQ: ONVO) stock appears to be on its way to posting its third-best performance in the history of the company. Of course, the stock has only been publicly traded for five years, so it will also be the third-worst performance ever. Regardless, 2016 has been a good year for the 3-D bioprinting company. Could the new year be Organovo's best year yet?

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Image source: Getty Images.

Good things on the way

Organovo isn't profitable yet, but it's on the way. Revenue more than tripled (and came close to quadrupling) in the first half of the company's fiscal year 2016 ending September 30 compared to the prior-year period.

There were three reasons for the big jump. First, adoption of Organovo's 3D bioprinted human liver tissue is growing. Second, the company successfully launched its second product -- ExVive human kidney tissue. Third, Organovo made more money from collaborations with big partners including Merck.

All three factors that helped Organovo succeed this year should carry over into 2017. The company should see continued adoption. More presentations at conferences and publications in scientific journals will help. Organovo already counts 10 of the largest global pharmaceutical companies as customers. That's double the number of big customers the company reported in June.

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Organovo plans to launch a new service in the near future with metabolism studies. This offering is a natural fit with the company's 3D human liver and kidney tissues. Although no specific time frame has been provided as of yet, a launch in 2017 seems likely. Organovo thinks it can double its annual revenue potential by offering metabolism studies.

The company recently signed an agreement that should help increase its international footprint. Cosmo Bio Co., Ltd.will promote Organovo's NovoView preclinical services in the Japanese market. CosmoBio is one of the largest suppliers in Japan's life science industry.

Tough comparison

With all of its positive momentum, can 2017 be the best year yet for Organovo? It's possible the stock's performance could top all prior years, but to do so will be tough.

Organovo's share price has increased more than 50% three times (including its 2016 year-to-date results). In 2013, the stock soared 369%. For Organovo to beat that performance, its market cap would need to increase to around $1.8 billion. That seems highly unlikely considering the company is forecasting fiscal 2017 revenue of $6.2 million at most.

Still, while 2017 probably won't be the best year yet for Organovo's stock, it could possibly be the best year yet for the company itself. Organovo expects to keep growing revenue by triple-digit percentages for years to come. If it achieves this goal in 2017, the company will definitely enjoy the best financial performance in its history.

If you measured Organovo's performance in terms of number of large customers, next year seems likely to also be the best so far. The launch of its kidney tissue is already helping pick up more global customers. Adding metabolism studies and signing up a strong partner for the Japanese market (which has four of the world's top 25 global pharmaceutical companies) will help.

Prediction for 2017

My prediction is that 2017 will be Organovo's best yet -- for the company, not the stock. However, I also expect the stock will perform well, although not to the extent seen in 2013.

How high can Organovo go? That remains to be seen. One thing's for sure, though: Investors love fast growth. If Organovo can deliver on its goal of triple-digit percentage sales growth, there's still room to run for this high-flying stock.

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Keith Speights has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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.