What happened

While the broader markets took a historic beating during the month of March, shares of the biotech heavyweight Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) actually gained a modest 1.5% last month, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

To put the biotech's monthly performance into the proper context, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the NASDAQ Composite Index, and the S&P 500 all lost more than 10% of their value in March. Amgen, in fact, was one of the only blue chip stocks to exit March in positive territory. 

A pink piggybank floating at sea in a life preserver.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Amgen's stock was likely immune to the COVID-19-induced sell-off over the course of March for three core reasons:

  1. Over the first two months of the year, Amgen's stock had already lost a jaw-dropping 17.1% of its value, which essentially erased a full year's worth of gains and transformed the company into a strong value play. 
  2. Early on in March, Amgen announced that it didn't anticipate any major disruptions to its global supply chain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, shareholders shouldn't fret about potential shortages of top-selling drugs. 
  3. With an annualized dividend yield of 3.16% and a resilient revenue stream, Amgen was probably a top pick by investors on the hunt for a safe haven during last month's marketwide downturn. 

Now what

As the COVID-19 pandemic isn't expected to peter out for at least another two full months, investors will definitely want to rotate into high-quality companies that pay a solid dividend and that can still earn money in this unprecedented environment. Amgen, for its part, ticks off both of these all-important boxes. As such, investors can probably expect a repeat performance from this blue chip biotech stock in April and beyond.