What happened

Gilead Sciences (GILD -1.74%) saw its shares rise 27.20% in October, according to data from S&P Global Intelligence. The biotech stock ended September at $61.69. The stock opened October at $62.40 and rose throughout the month, hitting its high on October 31 at $79.37 before closing the month at $78.46 a share. So far this year, the stock is up more than 14.5%. It has a 52-week low of $57.17 and a 52-week high of $81.56.

So what

Gilead, a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on oncology and HIV therapies, showed it has a strong future even as sales of its COVID-19 therapy, Veklury (remdesivir), have begun to ebb. The company reported third-quarter earnings on October 27, and while revenue was down 5% year over year to $7 billion, total product sales excluding Veklury were $6.1 billion, up 11% over the same period in 2021. Gilead also said it had net income of $1.79 billion, or $1.42 in earnings per share (EPS), compared with $2.59 billion, or $2.05 in EPS, in the prior-year quarter.

Investors were pleased when the company increased its annual guidance, saying it expected yearly revenue to land between $25.9 billion and $26.2 billion, up from earlier forecasts of between $24.5 billion and $25 billion. It also upped its annual EPS to fall between $6.95 and $7.15, better than the earlier forecasted range between $6.35 and $6.75.

The company saw increased sales for its therapies for HIV and hepatitis C virus and for oncology therapy Trodelvy, which is used to treat bladder cancer and metastatic or inoperable cancers of the urinary tract. Yescarta, which treats relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma, and Tecartus, which treats relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma, also made big gains. The cell therapies combined for $398 million, up 79% year over year.

Trodelvy saw its sales grow to $180 million in the quarter, up 78% over the same period in 2021. And the drug has a clear path to a label expansion: On October 11, the Food and Drug Administration accepted Gilead's supplemental biologics license application for the oncology drug to treat patients with hormone receptor-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HR+/HER2-) breast cancer, the most common form of breast cancer.

Now what

There are a lot of reasons to like Gilead's potential. Topping the list are the growth of the pharmaceutical company's oncology drugs and a quarterly dividend that it has increased for eight consecutive years, including a 2.8% boost this year to $0.73 per share, giving it a yield of 3.55%. The company has shown there's plenty of life after Veklury.