Only Some Drug Stocks Are Safe from Bear Market -- WSJ
By Charley Grant
Some big drugmakers are emerging as winners this earnings season.
Pfizer's strong third-quarter results and improved financial outlook lifted its shares Tuesday, up about 3% in afternoon trading. That is the latest in a string of good news for the sector. Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences and Merck & Co. are among the U.S. pharmaceutical and biotech companies that have rallied after reporting third-quarter earnings. Amgen and Moderna are scheduled to report results Thursday.
The news hasn't been entirely positive: Eli Lilly shares were down about 4% on Tuesday after it reported results. The drugmaker cut its 2022 revenue outlook, citing unfavorable foreign exchange rates. The stock was on pace for its worst day since September 2021, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Still, drug stocks are outperforming in a difficult environment for equities. The NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical Index is down about 4% so far this year, compared with a nearly 20% drop in the S&P 500. Sales of Covid-19 vaccines and antivirals are still brisk, though the future outlook (https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/stock-market-news-today-2022-10-21/card/what-a-milder-covid-19-wave-this-winter-would-mean-for-health-stocks-EBPxbpc6ki3SApdlvo0j) is uncertain. Patients who skipped routine checkups during the worst of the pandemic are returning to doctors' offices, which is easing a major bottleneck for new drug launches.