Healthcare has been in focus throughout the pandemic. Within healthcare, some pharmaceutical companies have seen a tremendous rise in fortunes. Investors looking to invest in biotech businesses can consider Amgen Inc. It is one of the largest independent biotech businesses in the world. The company is well-known for blockbuster drugs in the cancer, immunology, and arthritis segments. Amgen was also the first biotechnology stock to be included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It was, in fact, a replacement for peer Pfizer which was removed recently from the DJIA.
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Amgen has spent its money well lately. Last year, it bought psoriatic arthritis drug Otezla from Celgene for $13.4 billion in cash. During the second quarter of 2020, the drug was responsible for sales of $561 million despite the headwinds resulting from the pandemic. Otezla has demonstrated year-on-year revenue growth of 14%. Before Amgen bought Otezla, it was doing sales of around $1.6 billion annually. If it keeps hitting such sales numbers, then the return on investment can cross 14%. Plus, Amgen is now evaluating whether Otezla can be used for the treatment of the COVID illness as well. If that effort turns out to be successful, then the performance of Otezla can rise further.
So what are the top biotech stocks 2020
The year 2020 has been a challenging one for many companies. Contrary to popular belief, not all healthcare industry companies have done well during the pandemic. Amgen is up 35.81% since hitting a low during the March market crash. Pfizer, meanwhile, is up 27.24% since the March market fall. Bristol-Myers Squibb is up 26% from its trough in March. Gilead has lost value and is the only peer of Amgen that is down since March. The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index, surprisingly, is up 42% since the March market fall. So, among the big biotech companies, on a near-term stock performance basis, Amgen looks to be the biotech stock to buy now.