Last year, we gave you the top 10 pharma firms; this year, we turn the volume up to 15. Following is a list of 15 pharmaceutical companies, ranked by their market capitalization for the latest date that they furnished a figure for their numbers of outstanding shares and a year-ago figure for the same.
Pharmas, as with the biotechs listed in this space last week, benefited from the stock market surge that lifted share prices by mostly double-digit percentages over the past year. However, none of the 15 top pharma companies listed here had been able to double their market cap year-over-year; by contrast, five biotechs saw their market cap more than double over a 12-month period. Investors rewarded pharmas that performed well, though not as handsomely as biotechs that delivered.
Another factor in the lower market cap increases of pharmas compared with biotechs was the fact several of the companies were in the middle of restructuring efforts announced in earlier years, mostly related to loss of patent exclusivity on older blockbuster drugs. As reflected by GEN’s recent list of Top 15 Job-Cutting Companies of 2013 (So Far), pharmas carried out more job-cutting in the first half of 2013 compared with 2012.
The past year also saw some flux among the companies listed. Of this year’s top 15 (the 2012 GEN List of top pharmas included only 10 companies), two pharmas climbed up the list (Novartis and Sanofi); four slipped a notch or more (Roche, Merck & Co., GlaxoSmithKline, and AstraZeneca); three companies were ranked the same as last year; five were ranked for the first time (Bayer, Eli Lilly, Takeda, Astellas, and Daiichi Sankyo); and the remaining company (AbbVie) didn’t exist last year, rendering comparisons to 2012 moot.