Unlike their biotech counterparts, pharmaceutical companies have largely surpassed analyst expectations on earnings per share during the third quarter. Yet, pharma stocks have not been immune to the stock market swoon of recent weeks.
As of November 13, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) consisting of pharma equities still all showed year-over-year gains. The NYSE ARCA Pharmaceutical Index (DRG) rose 11.1% to $592.02, compared with a 5.5% increase for SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF (XPH), to $43.68; and a 2.3% increase for iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF (IHE).
However, all three pharma ETFs showed double-digit jumps between November 13, 2017, and September 28. As of that date, before the market turned decidedly downward, DRG had risen 11.4% to $593.60; IHE climbed 11.5% to $167.86; and XPH zoomed 17.3% to $48.56.
Below is a list of this year’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies, ranked by market cap as of November 13, 2018, as furnished by the companies on their websites; by the exchanges on which they trade their shares; or by other publicly available sources, such as any of several free stock information websites. Figures of non-U.S. companies were converted to U.S. dollars from various currencies on November 13, 2018.
Overall, the top 10 pharma companies on this year’s GEN list generated a combined $1.845 trillion in market cap, up 7.1% from the $1.722 trillion recorded by the drug developers on the Top 10 Pharma Companies of 2017—and nearly 18% from the $1.568 trillion racked up by the companies on the 2016 list, in what was a down year for biotech and pharma stocks due to election-related investor fears of curbs on rising prescription drug prices.
This year’s list includes eight of the 10 companies appearing in 2016. Bristol-Myers Squibb just missed the 2018 list by ranking 11th with a market cap of $86.311 billion, down almost 15% from a year ago, while Bayer ranked 12th with a market cap of €62.145 billion ($69.985 billion), a 34% decline from the 2017 list.
Bayer’s stock price has fallen following the June 7 completion of its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto—the deal was announced in September 2016 as a $66 billion transaction. On August 10, a Superior Court of California jury in San Francisco awarded school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages, after finding Monsanto liable for causing his cancer through its glyphosate-based weedkillers, including Roundup.
Monsanto appealed the verdict, asserting that the NIH, regulatory agencies, and more than 800 scientific studies and reviews “support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer.” Last month, the company won a reduction of punitive damages to $39 million, and Johnson’s lawyers accepted the reduced damages—though Bayer has said it will file another appeal.
$101.086 billion (£78.030 billion)
London Stock Exchange (GSK) 1
$102.589 billion (£79.188 billion)
London Stock Exchange (AZN) 2
$113.140 billion (€100.510 billion)
Euronext Paris (SAN) 3
#7. Eli Lilly
#5. Merck & Co.
$214.932 billion (CHF 217.020 billion)
SIX Swiss Exchange (ROG) 4
$225.884 billion (CHF 228.077 billion)
SIX Swiss Exchange (NOVN) 5
#1. Johnson & Johnson
1. GlaxoSmithKline shares are also traded on the NYSE as American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/investors/share-price-analysis/gsk-share-price/
2. AstraZeneca shares are also traded on NASDAQ Stockholm, while the company’s ADRs are traded on the NYSE. https://www.astrazeneca.com/investor-relations/faqs.html
3. Sanofi is also listed on the NYSE, where it trades ADS’s; One ordinary share represents two ADS’s.
4. Market cap information includes both Roche non-voting equity securities and Roche bearer shares, both listed on SIX Swiss Exchange. Roche is also listed on OTCQX International Premier, where it trades ADRs under the ticker RHHBY. https://www.roche.com/investors/shares.htm
5. Novartis also trades ADRs on the NYSE.