Shares of the biotech giant Amgen (AMGN -0.91%) jumped by 10.4% over the course of October, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.
What fueled this double-digit breakout? Healthcare stocks in general posted strong gains in October, thanks to the growing optimism that the trade war with China might be nearing an end, combined with the real possibility that the long-awaited drug pricing reforms in the U.S. may turn out to be fairly mild at the end of the day. Amgen's stock clearly benefited from this sectorwide upswing last month.
Amgen's stock, however, got a second boost toward the tail end of the month. Specifically, it jumped yet again after the company posted better-than-expected third-quarter results on Oct. 29. Investors were anticipating a ho-hum quarter due to the negative impacts of biosimilar and generic competition on key legacy products. However, Amgen beat FactSet's consensus estimates for both its bottom and top lines for the three-month period.
Is Amgen's stock still a buy after this recent surge? The answer is unequivocally a yes. The biotech recently acquired the blockbuster plaque psoriasis medication Otezla and subsequently inked a game-changing partnership with the Chinese biopharma BeiGene (BGNE -0.47%). This BeiGene deal is particularly noteworthy as it provides Amgen with a clear path toward rapidly expand its commercial reach in one of the most valuable healthcare markets in the world. Otezla, on the other hand, should be a key growth driver for the company in the next decade.
If these weren't reasons enough to consider buying shares, Amgen also offers a respectable dividend yield of 2.62%, an aggressive share buyback program, and one of the better long-term outlooks among blue chip biotechs at large. In other words, there's a lot to like about this large-cap biotech stock, even after last month's sizable upturn.