EvaluatePharma: Generic players impress in the first half

Generics/News | Posted 11/09/2009 post-comment0 Post your comment

Which pharma firm is the most profitable? A new analysis of net margins by EvaluatePharma tagged companies for profitability, and the winner was not one of the big pharma companies, e.g. Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer, but PDL BioPharma:

  Net Margin Net Income - Normalised
Rank Company 2007 2008 Change (+/-) 2007 2008 % Growth
1 PDL BioPharma 87.4% 68.9% -18.4% 197 203 +3%
2 Leo Pharma 45.1% 44.3% -0.8% 435 498 +14%
3 Warner Chilcott 30.7% 38.8% +8.1% 276 364 +32%
4 Gilead Sciences 38.2% 37.8% -0.3% 1,615 2,019 +25%
5 Sun Pharmaceutical Industries 42.6% 36.3% -6.3% 367 272 -26%
6 OSI Pharmaceuticals 32.2% 35.3% +3.1% 110 134 +22%
7 Pfizer 31.3% 33.9% +2.5% 15,113 16,366 +8%
8 Alkermes 6.5% 33.1% +26.6% 16 97 +516%
9 Merck & Co 31.5% 32.2% +0.7% 7,624 7,670 +1%
10 Amgen 31.3% 32.1% +0.8% 4,623 4,817 +4%

Surprisingly few of the cost heavy big pharma companies make it into the top 10, with only Pfizer and Merck & Co left to represent this sector of the market. This might, however, change given the mega mergers that both have indulged in, with Wyeth and Schering-Plough respectively. Looking beyond the top 10 to the top 20 and only sanofi-aventis makes it into the list, with big biotech Amgen coming in at number 10 thanks to its high-value biologicals portfolio. Generic Indian companies Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals make it into the top 20 again, showing that their model of keeping costs low prove that generics do not necessarily mean low margin. But since last year the two have slipped down the rankings, Sun has moved from two to five and Glenmark is now at 17 from six.

With so much talk of patent cliffs and biosimilar regulatory pathways, 2009 is shaping up to be a boom time for investors in generic companies, a half-yearly analysis of stock performance by EP Vantage (a comment and analysis website service from EvaluatePharma) has revealed. Alongside Teva Pharmaceutical, as a rare big pharma stock to register a gain in the first half of the year, all five of the biggest winners for mid-cap companies are generic, with the average gain for global generic stocks a healthy 28%. In comparison, the average decline for big pharma was 11%, excluding the bid targets Schering-Plough and Wyeth. With cuts to dividend payouts and scrapping of share buy-back schemes compounding the patent risk exposure of big pharma, it seems investors are switching their allegiance to the generic companies that will profit the most from the woes of big pharma.

Source: EvaluatePharma, FiercePharma, Seeking Alpha

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