I have never cared for the valuation metrics of Insulet Corp., the Billerica-based maker of the Omnipod insulin pump.
At just over $42 per share, the company sells for six and a half times sales. And it’s has never been profitable, although it trimmed its net loss from $48.7 million in 2015 to $10.7 million last year.
Furthermore, holding the stock can get on your nerves, as its beta of 2.04 (according to Yahoo Finance) suggests that it has been twice as volatile as the typical security.
Yet, for the most part, I’ve been wrong to stay away, at least so far. Shares of Insulet have advanced nearly 12 percent so far this year, outpacing the market. It wasn’t all that long ago they traded in single digits.
And then there’s this interesting tidbit, initially announced in February and fleshed out today by the Boston Business Journal: Insulet has acquired a new facility in Acton’s Nagog Park and plans to move its manufacturing operations out of China (where it uses a contractor) and into the U.S.
The Omnipod is a tubeless insulin pump used to treat Type 1 diabetes.
A spokeswoman told the Journal that the company may even move its headquarters south on I-495, even though it’s only three years removed from its most recent move from Bedford to Billerica. At 195,000 square feet, the Acton facility is nearly twice as large as the Billerica headquarters, and apparently contains suitable office space for corporate personnel.
Furthermore, the Journal reported that Acton voters recently voted to approve zoning changes that would allow Insulet, which currently employs about 640 people, to increase its space to as much as 300,000 to 350,000 square feet.
Clearly, the company is growing. It has said that it plans to add “hundreds” to its workforce (presumably, moving manufacturing in-house would seem to make that compulsory) and its 2016 revenue total of $367 million marked a 39 percent increase from the year before.
Will the next step be profits?
Production in Acton is expected to begin in 2019.