Drugmakers aim to help people live healthier lives, but they
aren't immune to patent losses.
), which has recently faced a number of patent expirations, on
Tuesday reported Q2 sales that slowed for an eighth quarter in a
row. But earnings climbed 1% to 85 cents a share for its third
straight quarter of gains.
Results beat views on both the top and bottom lines.
Last month Merck said it's buyingIdenix Pharmaceuticals (
), which would give it access to three hepatitis C drugs that are
currently in development. Two of those belong to the same broad
class asGilead Sciences ' (
) blockbuster, Sovaldi.
Merck currently pays a quarterly dividend of 44 cents a share,
or $1.76 for the full year. That works out to an annualized yield
of 3%, above the S&P 500's 1.9%. Its three-year Earnings
Stability Factor is 4 on a scale of 0 (most stable) to 99 (most
volatile). The stock has been trading sideways since climbing
past a 59.13 cup-with-handle buy point on June 20.
Among other medicals,Johnson & Johnson (
) on July 15 reported Q2 results that also beat views. Its strong
results were led by its Olysio hepatitis C drug. J&J boasts a
stable Earnings Stability Factor of 1 for both three and five
years. Analysts expect profit to grow 7% this year and 7% the
Its quarterly dividend of 70 cents a share, or $2.80 for the
year, yields 2.7% on an annualized basis. The stock rose as much
as 13% from a cup base it cleared in November, but has pulled
back below its 50-day moving average and is 4% off its high.
Baxter International (
), a maker of devices and drugs to treat hemophilia and other
conditions, pays out a 52-cent quarterly dividend ($2.08 for the
year), which also works out to a 2.7% yield. On July 17, the
company reported Q2 results that topped views.
Baxter gets a 0 for its three-year Earnings Stability Factor.
The stock, which recently cleared a series of bases, is trading
just above the 75.98 buy point of its latest flat base.