Despite some industry hurdles, several pharmaceutical companies have managed to come out ahead—and so have their shareholders.
It hasn’t been the easiest year for pharmaceutical stocks. The American presidential campaign created some unease in the sector, while several key figures—like Martin Shkreli, Heather Bresch and Michael Pearson—generated major bad press. But despite these hurdles, several pharmaceutical companies have managed to come out ahead—and so have their shareholders.
Take these three top performing pharmaceutical stocks. They’ve done more than weather the storm—in fact, you could say that in rough and tumultuous seas, they found a way to catch the wave. Each has seen major gains in 2016 … and that’s reflected in their dividend yield.
1. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)
2015 revenues: $48851 million
It’s been a big year for Pfizer, acquisition-wise. The pharmaceutical giant bought Hospira, Medivation, Anacor Pharmaceuticals and Bamboo Therapeutics, plus acquired the rights to AstraZeneca’s (NYSE:AZN) small molecule antibiotics business, several GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) vaccines and Oncolmmune’s anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibody.
In other words, they’ve been busy. And the moves seem to be paying off: the first half of the year saw Pfizer return approximately $8.7 billion to shareholders through dividends and buybacks.
2. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
2015 revenues: $70074 million
Pfizer isn’t the only pharma giant with major purchasing power: Johnson & Johnson is set to acquire Abbott Laboratories’ (NYSE:ABT) medical optic business in the first few months of 2017. It comes with a hefty price tag—think $4.325 billion—but for Johnson & Johnson, that would appear to just be a drop in the bucket. The second quarter of 2016 saw them bring in $18.5 billion in sales.
Johnson & Johnson has been called one of the market’s best dividend stocks, with a yield of 2.71 percent. In the first half of 2016, the company also increased its quarterly shareholder payout by 7 percent.
3. AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV)
2015 revenues: $22859 million
It could’ve been a rough year for AbbVie considering its blockbuster drug, Humira, was expected to lose patent protection by December. But AbbVie has won numerous additional patents and managed to forestall the arrival of generic competitors: biosimilars won’t be on the market until 2022 at the earliest.
According to CNN, the stock has been labeled a ‘buy’ for many months now—and the company’s performance seems to be bearing that prediction out. Its dividend yield currently sits at 3.65 percent. In June, the company announced plans to buy back $3.8 billion of its own stock.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Chelsea Pratt, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.