Provided lawmakers can produce the votes, the proposed House and Senate health care bills could ease some of that uncertainty — setting up a possible “sell the rumor, buy the fact” backdrop, as investors move beyond market noise and focus on company fundamentals. With uncertainty already priced in, I believe that the pharmaceutical industry could finally be poised for a breakthrough if current trends hold.
Here are three potential industry catalysts:
- The US population is aging. According the Census Bureau, the median age in the US rose to 37.9 years in July 2016, up from 35.3 years in April 2000.1 The population of Americans aged 65 years and older grew by 14.2 million between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2016.1 I believe these demographic trends should support demand for pharmaceutical products.
- The pharmaceutical product pipeline appears healthy. The number of Phase III trials at large US and European pharma companies has risen to include more than 200 potential drugs, leaving the industry with a robust pipeline of potential revenue.
- Valuations are attractive. Pharmaceutical stocks are cheap. In fact, the PowerShares Dynamic Pharmaceuticals Portfolio (PJP), which comprises stocks of 30 US pharmaceutical companies, is trading at a discount to the S&P 500 Index and is the cheapest since 2009, when the post-financial crisis rally began.
PJP is priced at just 12 times forward earnings per share — a sizeable discount to the S&P 500’s forward price-to-earnings ratio of 17.64 — while the price-to-expected sales ratio is at 2009 levels, which could pave the way for price appreciation potential.
From a technical perspective, PJP has broken out above a base established between November 2016 and early June 2017, and hints at a potential reversal of the downtrend that has been in place since the fund’s July 2015 highs.
The PowerShares Dynamic Pharmaceuticals Portfolio (NYSE:PJP) was unchanged in premarket trading Thursday. Year-to-date, PJP has gained 13.40%, versus a 8.61% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
1 Source: US Census Bureau, June 22, 2017
Forward earnings per share is a variant of a company’s earnings per share, and is calculated by dividing the company’s expected earnings over the next 12 months by its current number of outstanding shares.
Forward price-to-earnings ratio is a variant of a company’s price-to-earnings ratio, and is calculated by dividing the company’s current share price by its expected earnings, usually for the next 12 months or next full fiscal year.
Price-to-cash flow ratio is a stock’s capitalization divided by its cash for the fiscal year.
Price-to-earnings ratio measures a stock’s valuation by dividing its share price by its earnings per share.
Price-to-expected sales measures a stock’s valuation by dividing a company’s current share price by its expected sales for the next 12 months or next fiscal year.
Price-to-expected earnings measures a stock’s valuation by dividing a company’s current share price by its expected earnings for the next 12 months or next fiscal year.
There are risks involved with investing in ETFs, including possible loss of money. Shares are not actively managed and are subject to risks similar to those of stocks, including those regarding short selling and margin maintenance requirements. Ordinary brokerage commissions apply. The fund’s return may not match the return of the underlying index. The fund is subject to certain other risks. Please see the current prospectus for more information regarding the risk associated with an investment in the fund.
Investments focused in a particular industry, such as pharmaceuticals or biotechnology and genomics, are subject to greater risk, and are more greatly impacted by market volatility, than more diversified investments.
Stocks of small and mid-sized companies tend to be more vulnerable to adverse developments, may be more volatile, and may be illiquid or restricted as to resale.
The fund is nondiversified and may experience greater volatility than a more diversified investment.
Shares are not individually redeemable, and owners of the shares may acquire those shares from the fund and tender those shares for redemption to the fund in creation unit aggregations only, typically consisting of 10,000, 50,000, 75,000, 100,000 or 200,000 shares.
This article is brought to you courtesy of Invesco.