Why Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and F5 Networks, Inc. Are Today’s 3 Worst Stocks

Stocks from the health-care and tech sectors end at the bottom of the stock market today.

May 2, 2014 at 7:42PM
Longview

Wall Street, anxiously awaiting Friday's jobs report for the last several days, finally got the news it was waiting for today. But the monthly employment snapshot, instead of providing a nice, clean-cut, crystal-clear data set for investors to make sound decisions upon, provided both extremely positive and starkly negative news. On the plus side, nonfarm payrolls surged by 288,000 in April, crushing the consensus forecast of 215,000. However, at the same time, Americans dropped out of the labor force left and right, as the labor force declined by more than 800,000 last month. The stock market fell slightly on the news, but Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX), Alexion Pharmaceuticals, (NASDAQ:ALXN), and F5 Networks, (NASDAQ:FFIV) all cratered in trading on Friday. Meanwhile the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) shed two points, or 0.1%, to end at 1,881. 

Vertex Pharmaceuticals stock fell 3.7% today in reaction to news that the company would be doubling down on its efforts to sell cystic fibrosis treatments rather than its once-popular Hepatitis C drug, Incivek. Although quarterly revenue from its cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco surged more than 60% to nearly $100 million, the company's overall sales plummeted 64% as Incivek went from selling more than $200 million in the year-ago period to less than $4 million in the first quarter of 2014. Vertex is now a one-trick pony reliant on Kalydeco sales, but it'll be tough to match the explosive sales growth Incivek once brought to the company. 

Alexionpharmaceuticalssoliris

Source: Alexion website

Shares of another biotech company, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, slumped 2.9% Friday, as the health-care sector generally struggled, losing 0.8% on the whole. Alexion Pharmaceuticals is often mentioned in the same breath as Vertex, since both companies make their bread and butter on orphan drugs, or drugs that affect a very small percentage of the population. In order to make the sale of these orphan drugs economical, these businesses stick the drugs with sky-high price tags. In the case of Alexion, its drug, Soliris -- used to treat paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria -- is the most expensive drug in the world, with a sticker price of more than $400,000.

The tech sector also ended as one of Friday's losers. Shares of F5 Networks tumbled 2.8% today. Unfortunately, there wasn't a definitive catalyst driving the stock lower -- in fact, F5's recent results have been largely positive. Sales jumped by 20% in the most recent quarter as the company's cash-rich telecom clients ramped up spending on infrastructure. F5, which sells products that make networks run more smoothly and efficiently, is firmly positioned in an industry that won't be going away anytime soon, so take today's minor pullback with a grain of salt.

The biggest thing to come out of Silicon Valley in years
If you thought the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad were amazing, just wait until you see this. Companies like F5 will still be providing the behind-the-scenes technological plumbing that make amazing products like this one function -- but for now, one hundred of Apple's top engineers are busy building one in a secret lab. And an ABI Research report predicts 485 million of them could be sold over the next decade. But you can invest in it right now... for just a fraction of the price of AAPL stock. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening new report.

John Divine has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.

The Motley Fool recommends Vertex Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool owns shares of F5 Networks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers