Like most other sectors, the pharmaceutical sector is no stranger to exchange traded funds (ETFs). The role of an ETF is to provide investors with an investing option that isn’t tied to one sole company. Instead, an ETF will hold a basket of assets – stocks, bonds, commodities – that trades close to its net asset value over the course of the a day. Furthermore, ETFs tend to track an index, making them a prime example of how a sector is performing.
To help make investors aware of some of their options when looking at investing in ETFs in the pharmaceutical sector, Investing News Network took a look at the five top ETFs (barring any leveraged ETFs) in the space. Included on the list investors will find:
- PowerShares Dynamic Pharmaceuticals Portfolio ETF (NYSEARCA:PJP)
- iShares US Pharmaceuticals ETF (NYSEARCA:IHE)
- SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF (NYSEARCA:XPH)
- Market Vectors Pharmaceuticals ETF (NYSEARCA:PPH)
- Market Vectors Generic Drugs ETF (NASDAQ:GNRX)
The funds are arranged by the value of their assets.
PowerShares Dynamic Pharmaceuticals Portfolio ETF
Launched in 2005, the PowerShares Dynamic Pharmaceuticals Portfolio ETF is based on the Dynamic Pharmaceutical Intellidex Index (INDEXNYSEGIS:DZR). PJP has 23 holdings, and on the whole, will invest about 90 percent of its total assets in common stocks that make up the index.
The fund holds a majority mix of large cap stocks, with a smaller addition of small cap – particularly growth oriented– stocks. Among its listings, investors will find Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), The Medicines Company (NASDAQ:MDCO) and Allergan Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:AGN).
iShares US Pharmaceuticals ETF
Tracking the Dow Jones US Select Pharmaceuticals Index (INDEXDJX:DJSPHM), the iShares US Pharmaceutical ETF has been around since 2006. The fund holds 44 assets, aimed at providing investors with exposure to US companies that manufacture prescription or over the counter drugs or vaccines.
SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF
XPH is a passive fund that is managed with a small gross expense ratio of 0.35 percent. The fund tracks the S&P Pharmaceuticals Select Industry Index (INDEXNYSEGIS:SPSIPH) and is run by State Street Global Advisors. With only 40 holdings, the fund has a weighted average market cap of $47.5 million.
Among XPH’s top holdings investors will find Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:JAZZ), Allergan and The Medicines Company.
Market Vectors Pharmaceuticals ETF
Sponsored by VanEck, the Market Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF tracks the performance of the Market Vectors US Listed Pharmaceutical 25 Index and has been around since 2011. The fund has a gross expense ratio of 0.41 percent. PPH’s net asset value is around $252.30 million.
Market Vectors Generic Drugs ETF
Finally, the Market Vectors Generic Drugs ETF came into existence in early 2016 and is the only ETF to offer global exposure to generic drug producers. Like its peers, GNRX tracks an index, and in this case the fund is looking to track the performance of the Indxx Global Generics & New Pharma Index.
The fund has a total net asset value of $2.4 million and a portfolio of 79 holdings. The top three holdings in GNRX are Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (NSE:SUNPHARMA), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NYSE:TEVA) and Mylan Nv (NYSE:MYL)
This is an updated version of an article originally published on the Investing News Network on April 12, 2016.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Pia Rivera, hold no investment interest in any of the companies mentioned.