At the intersection of technology and healthcare lies the biotech sector, an area of the market with some truly fascinating opportunities. While investing in these companies can be challenging given that their valuations can change in the blink of an eye based on an FDA approval or clinical trial result, choosing wisely can often lead to huge gains. With the rapid pace of scientific advancements and plenty of demand for new vaccines and drugs that can improve the health of the world’s population, adding exposure to biotech companies at this time makes a lot of sense.
We were reminded of the importance of biotech companies last year thanks to the global pandemic and their efforts to rapidly develop vaccines that combat the virus. The best companies in this sector offer a combination of established drugs along with a strong pipeline of potential growth opportunities. It’s worth mentioning that the recent pullback in biotech stocks has created some attractive entry points for investors to consider. Let’s take a look at 3 big-time biotech stocks to buy now. Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN)
Amgen is the type of biotech stock that is the gold standard in the sector and allows investors to rest easy knowing that they own one of the world’s leading companies. It’s a member of the S&P 500 and a stock that is worth buying thanks to its diverse product line, growth potential with new pipeline products, and continued R&D acquisitions. Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures, and delivers innovative human therapeutics that can help patients that are suffering from serious illnesses. By using fascinating technology and tools such as advanced human genetics, this company can better understand diseases and human biology.
Some of Amgen’s
flagship drugs include immune system boosters Neupogen and Neulasta, red blood cell boosters Epogen and Aranesp, and inflammatory disease drugs Enbrel and Otezla. Investors should be excited about the launch of the company’s potential blockbuster drug Sotorasib, which helps patients suffering from locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer and has received priority review from the FDA. Just imagine the positive impact this type of drug can make in the lives of cancer patients around the world. The company’s adjusted EPS rose 12% year-over-year in 2020 to $16.60 and recent acquisitions of clinical-stage biotech company Five Prime Therapeutics should further strengthen the company’s portfolio. Finally, Amgen stock offers investors a 2.83% dividend yield and has recently reclaimed its 200-day moving average, offering an attractive entry point at this time. Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX)
This biotech stock is a good reminder of just how volatile the share prices of companies in the sector can be. After rallying over 2400% in 2020, Novavax shares hit an all-time high of $331.68 in February of this year only to come crashing down over 40% since then. While this type of volatility might scare some investors off, when you stop to look at this company’s business prospects, adding it to your investment plans might be worth the risk. Novavax is a clinical-stage vaccine company that is primarily focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of recombinant vaccines to fight infectious diseases such as the Ebola virus, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus.
The company’s eye-catching 2020 rally was the result of several bits of good news. First, Novavax reported very positive results from a late-stage study of its experimental flu vaccine called NanoFlu. It’s estimated that once this vaccine gains approval, Novavax could generate peak annual sales of up to $1.7 billion. There’s also the fact that the company has a COVID-19 vaccine
candidate that is showing promising results including 96% efficacy against the original virus strain in phase 3 studies. Novavax already has supply agreements in place with the U.S. government and might even explore creating a combined COVID-19 and flu vaccine in the future. This is an innovative company with immense upside, especially if these two vaccines are approved by the FDA. AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN)
The final biotech stock on our list that investors should have their eyes on is AstraZeneca
, a global pharmaceutical company based in the United Kingdom. The company sells branded drugs across several therapeutic classes including diabetes, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, immunology, and cancer. It’s a solid pick for your portfolio because it offers exposure to biopharmaceutical sales in major markets outside of the United States, as the U.S. only represents about a third of AstraZeneca’s sales. This includes China, which is an emerging market that offers very attractive growth potential.
You’ve probably heard about this company’s COVID-19 vaccine that has been granted emergency use authorization in over 50 countries, and AstraZeneca has one of the strongest pipelines of new drugs in biotech. Q4 revenue for the company grew by 10% year-over-year and sales should remain strong throughout 2021. Investors should also be interested in AstraZeneca’s move to acquire Alexion Pharmaceuticals, as the move is a strategic master class that strengthens the company’s immunology presence.
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Should you or shouldn’t you? Many investors are wondering if it’s time to take some profit. With so much uncertainty in the market, there can be a temptation to take your profits and run. That may or may not be a good strategy. It’s true there are some speculative stocks that are going up on nothing but faith, trust, and pixie dust. But there are other stocks that may still be good buys despite continuing to grow.
Since the sell-off caused by the novel coronavirus and subsequent locking down of large portions of the economy, the stock market has recovered nearly all of its losses. The Federal Reserve has done its part by pledging to keep interest rates low for as long as it takes. New housing starts are up. Unemployment is coming down. There seems to be a lot of fuel for market bulls.
Still, if you’ve been holding one of the stocks in this presentation, it may be time for you to take some of the profits you’ve made. Many of the stocks in this presentation are being downgraded by analysts. And that means that there is likely to be downward pressure on the stock price.
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