Like Big Oil, Big Pharma has entered a period of consolidation.
There are many factors contributing to this. A major reason is that it can be cheaper to buy a company with a promising product rather than undergo the costs of developing a drug. Another is that interest rates are still low, making it cheap to borrow money to buy other companies. Big Pharma has also done well, providing the profit income that allows for corporate deals. For investors, there are three ways to profit from these drug company deals.
Exchange traded funds for the sector off profits from a broad asset base.
In a recent article on Benzinga, ETFS covering the sector include iShares US Pharmaceutical IHE, SPDR S&P US Pharmaceuticals XPH, and Market Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF PPH. All have done well in recent market action to the appeal of drug companies. If consolidation continues, which is should, the ETFs could do even better. Market Vectors Pharmaceuticals ETF is the only one that holds foreign firms.
It is always wise to own blue chip Big Pharma.
Companies such as Merck MRK and Pfizer PFE are great stocks. Both have done well in the bull market. The merger activity in the sector will the share prices of all of the publicly traded companies. In addition, Merck and Pfizer have high dividend yields, too.
Big Pharma loves buying appealing small caps like CytoDyn, Inc. CYDY.
As covered in another article in Benzinga, CytoDyn is a small cap biotech firm with a product doing well that could revolutionize the treatment of HIV patients. That is a huge market with tremendous cost savings from the "drug holiday" treatment that CytoDyn hopes to bring to market. This is type product that, if approved, makes the host company very tempting.
The drug industry should continue to do well. Populations in major companies are aging, which increases spending for pharmaceutical products. Emerging market countries will also spend more on drugs and related services as health care improves from greater affluence. From that, the ETFs, blue chips, and small caps in the drug industry should continue to do well!
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