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Tag Archives: pharmaceutical

December 15, 2006

Out of breadth! Stock prices surged again this week, at least if you were looking at the blue chip indexes. The S&P 500 posted its highest weekly close since September 2000. But smaller stocks ran into profit-taking—a sign that the huge advance off the June-July lows is starting to narrow. We don’t want to read too much into this development, but in our model portfolio, we want to pare back some of our risk.

Bitter Pill for Pfizer

Even the best and the brightest can stumble. Need proof? Just chew on the latest news from Pfizer (NYSE: PFE). Over the weekend, PFE announced it was halting development of the most promising drug in its pipeline, torcetrapib. However, I am hopeful but realistic that PFE can regain the offensive and grow its business again within a reasonable time frame.

Pfizer: A Shift in the Wind

More and more, it’s looking as if the worst is over for the pharmaceutical industry — and especially for the 800-pound gorilla, Pfizer (NYSE: PFE). Last Friday, a Food & Drug Administration advisory panel voted overwhelmingly (31-1) to recommend keeping PFE’s painkiller Celebrex on the market. The same panel also voted, by a slimmer (17-13) margin, to advise the FDA to allow continued sales of Pfizer’s other controversial cox-2 painkiller, Bextra.

MAJOR BOTTOM FOR DRUG STOCKS?

For a number of weeks, P/E ratios (and other valuation yardsticks) for the big-name pharmaceutical stocks have shriveled to multiyear lows. Now we seem to be approaching a downside climax.