Saturday, April 14, 2012

Big Pharma: A High Yield Contrarian Play

If you look at the index of big pharmaceutical stocks and compare it to the Standard and Poor's 500, you will notice that pharma was down almost 2% year-to-date, whereas the S&P 500 was up about 9% from the beginning of the year. Are these companies being ignored? Are concerns about the patent expiration issues being overdone? Although several of these stocks have had risen over the last year or so, contrarians may want to take a closer look at some of them, especially due to the high yields.

The other reason for looking at dividend stocks in the health care sector is the Baby Boomer growth. This is especially true for long term investors. Based on the free list of high yield big pharmaceutical stocks at, there are ten pharmaceutical stocks with yields of 4.0% or more, with two stocks paying more than 5%. One example is GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK), the third largest pharmaceutical company in the world by revenues, after Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Pfizer (PFE). Glaxo's products include Aquafresh, Boniva, Dexedrine, Levitra, Nicoderm, Nicorette, Sensodyne, Tums, and Valtrex. The stock pays a generous yield of 5.8% payable quarterly. It trades at 11.6 times forward earnings.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), the world's largest pharma company, is a manufacturer of pharmaceutical, medical devices and consumer packaged goods. The company, which was founded in 1886, yields 3.6% and has a forward price to earnings ratio of 11.7.

Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK), another big pharmaceutical, yields 4.2% and trades at 10.2 times forward earnings. This is the company that makes such products as Levitra, Nasonex, Claritin, Clarinex, Coppertone, and Bain de Soleil. They even make Antivenin for the treatment of black widow spider bites.

If you want a list of over a dozen high yield pharma stocks, that can be downloaded and sorted, go to

Disclosure: Author owns PFE.


No comments: