Thanks to population growth and aging, the global pharmaceutical market is expected to grow from $1.3 trillion in 2020 to $1.6 trillion by 2025. This should translate into a bright future for well-positioned biotech stocks.
Thus, it's not surprising that the company's portfolio contained five blockbuster drug franchises and two blockbuster vaccine franchises in 2021. In combination with a drug pipeline of 91 projects at different stages of development, this explains why analysts anticipate Sanofi will generate 10.3% annual earnings growth over the next five years. For context, this is significantly higher than the five-year industry average of 7%.
And Sanofi's far superior growth prospects can be acquired by investors at a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 11.6. This is essentially in line with the industry average of 11.3, which means that Sanofi is a growth stock that's also priced like a value stock. And if that wasn't enough, the stock offers income investors a safe, market-trouncing 3.6% yield. This makes Sanofi an interesting buy for every type of investor.
The second stock to contemplate buying right now is Pfizer (PFE -1.76%). With a $281 billion market cap, the New York-based drugmaker is the second-largest pharma stock in the world.
Pfizer is best-known for its blockbuster COVID-19 vaccine called Comirnaty and antiviral pill named Paxlovid. But Pfizer had eight other blockbuster franchises in 2021 like the anticoagulant co-owned with Bristol Myers Squibb called Eliquis. That's why it would be unfair to label Pfizer as merely a COVID stock.
Thanks to the stock's strong drug portfolio and pipeline of 96 projects at varying developmental phases, Pfizer should deliver robust earnings growth to its shareholders in the years ahead.
Pfizer also provides investors with a market-topping 3.3% yield. And with the stock's payout ratio set to be 25.2% in 2022, Pfizer has plenty of room to keep growing its dividend. Best of all, the stock is trading at a forward P/E ratio of just 8.7. That's why Pfizer appears to be an excellent pick for income investors.
The third stock to consider buying now is AstraZeneca (AZN -1.04%). The British drugmaker's $205 billion market cap makes it the seventh-biggest pharma stock in the world.
AstraZeneca's portfolio consisted of 12 blockbuster drugs as well as its blockbuster COVID-19 vaccine called Vaxzevria. And with 183 active projects in its drug pipeline, the company should have no problem building on its status as a mega-cap pharma stock going forward. This is why analysts are predicting that AstraZeneca will produce 15.4% annual earnings growth through the next five years.
Even though AstraZeneca's annual earnings growth potential is more than double the industry average, the stock is trading at a forward P/E ratio of just 13. Throw in AstraZeneca's market-besting 2.2% yield, and the stock looks like a no-brainer buy for long-term investors to build wealth.