Dueling Fools

Dueling Fools

I Am What I Amgen
Amgen Price (9/21/99): $82 11/16

September 22, 1999

The field of life science has been one of the most exciting to watch over the past decade. Biotech bellwether Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN) has been leading the medical charge.

While we can now grow a better tomato, we can't get two Fools to agree on what the future holds for Amgen. This week Paul Larson (TMF Parlay) dons his bullish lab coat while Bill Barker (TMF Max) smashes the beakers. Jekyll and Hyde? You decide!

Once you've placed the Duel under the microscope and voted for a winner, check out our Duel Flashback where we see who made the winning bid in our eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) bout.

You Get to Vote Results

Once you've read the arguments and the rebuttals, it's your time to cast your vote. We'll tabulate results each week and revisit them from time to time to see whether you were right! As always, we invite you to join us in the Dueling Fools Message board to continue the duel.

[Any suggestions, comments, praise, or flames, please send them along to the Dueling Fools Team.]

The Bull...
Biotech! 'Nuf said. The above one-word argument might be enough for some, but Amgen has so much going for it that a column three times the length of this one may not adequately describe the bullish case. In a nutshell, biotechnology is one of the most attractive and important industries heading into the next century, and Amgen is at the head of its impressive class.
The Bear...
With growth rates of somewhere around 15% and a trailing P/E ratio of over 45, it doesn't take a whole lot of time to see that shares of Amgen are a wee bit too expensive at today's price. Put another way, name the other companies that you love that aren't growing sales by even 15% annually and yet go at such a high P/E multiple. I'll wait patiently.

Results for last week's VISX Duel

Answer Percentage
I can't make up my mind


TMF Venus'
Bull argument


TMF Edible's
Bear argument


They were both excellent


They were both lame