Aspire to Beauty=Make More Money

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Maybe you remember a commercial slogan, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.” Far from it, beautiful (or handsome) people make more money over the course of a lifetime as people throw opportunities and money at them. OK, maybe now you hate them. But an infographic on trendhunter.com claims a beautiful woman can earn 4% more over the course of a lifetime than average looking women with a below average woman earning 3% less than average looking women. Unattractive men fare even worse paid 22% less than an average looking man.

While people may not consciously acknowledge this in our meritocracy, for example, a handsome man in his forties has the equivalent of 5 years of extra experience added to his earnings power.

If a prospective employee can get past the Human Resources computer keyword barrier and get a live interview, a beautiful person earns $230,000 more over their career according to the infographic. Most of the figures come from Dr. Daniel Hamermesh, an economics professor at University of Texas Austin and are published in his book,"Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful."

Yes, the rich get richer and what everyone’s suspected all along, the beautiful get richer. Being high-maintenance and investing in good grooming has never paid off so well.

Which companies benefit the most from our high-maintenance and aspirational trends? Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN) is the maker of trademarked Botox and Juvederm, a wrinkle filler. Credit Suisse just upgraded it to Outperform with a price target of $105 based on an EPS growth rate of 13% and Wells Fargo maintains its Outperform rating.

Of course Allergan’s been finding more than just aesthetic uses for Botox, like for migraines and overactive bladder. But Allergan also offers obesity intervention with its LAP-BAND System and Orbera Intragastric Balloon System. Of note, Allergan just withdrew its FDA application for the use of the LAP-BAND system in teenagers. Overall, in 2011, Allergan had $203 million in net sales just from its obesity products. Allergan has a P/E of 27.46 and a yield of .20% and reports on October 30.

Allergan has a new research and development facility in New Jersey and expects to add hundreds of jobs over the next few years. Allergan also has strong ophthalmic, dermatology, urology, neuroscience, and medical esthetics divisions.

Allergan’s most direct competitor was Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp (NYSE: MRX) but it agreed to be acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc (NYSE: VRX) in September for $2.6 billion, a 39% premium. Valeant’s CEO Michael Pearson has overseen the company acquire 50 companies since 2008 but after merging with Biovail in 2010, the Medicis purchase is the largest.  In 2011 Valeant also bought Dermik and Ortho Dermatologics.  Medicis with its strong acne line including Solodyn, actinic keratosis products and esthetic injectibles like Dysport (similar to Botox) is expected to be accretive almost immediately. Wall Street liked the deal with Valeant rising 14.65% on the deal announcement.

Valeant specializes in neurology, dermatology and branded generics. It has a 282.09 P/E.  On August 5 it reported Q2 product sales were up 41.3%.  It is beefing up its opthamology division just this last week with the purchase of Visudyne from QLT, a treatment for age-related macular degeneration. Valeant is spending $112.5 million total for U.S. rights and inventories and foreign royalties.

This would compete with several other macular degeneration products like Eylea from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: REGN). Regeneron has tripled over the last year on the success of Eylea in wet age related macular degeneration.

Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited (NYSE: TEVA) is often listed as a direct competitor to Valeant because of their generics divisions. However, Valeant’s last two purchases, Medicis Pharmaceuticals and the Visudyne drug, solidify the theory that Valeant is pitting itself head to head with Allergan. Valeant's CEO Pearson owns 6,488,430 shares.

Being beautiful certainly has its financial advantages and other overall societal perks. Apparently, justice isn’t that blind with less attractive defendants more likely to get convicted and get longer sentences.

Maybe it isn’t fair but as a biological imperative beauty equals a subconscious perception of health and reproductive capability. At such a limbic level maybe this ugly little secret can make you as much money as that pretty person who doesn’t have to work so hard. Staying beautiful and youthful is expensive. Botox, a purified version of botulinum toxin, is now a verb. Allergan and Valeant have both done well the last few years. Just do your due diligence (even if you’re pretty).


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