In the competitive spirit of college basketball's annual championship tournament, The Motley Fool brings you Stock Madness 2007! Our writers are making head-to-head arguments for their chosen stocks (but not necessarily investment recommendations -- this is, after all, a game), and you'll pick the winners with your article recommendations and Motley Fool CAPS ratings. Who will win the right to cut down the net? Let's tip things off and find out!
Nobody needs to be told that investing in biotech stocks is risky business. On the flip side, though, established drug companies such as Amgen
Whether you're an investor who likes to take a top-down macro approach to your stocks or a bottom-up micro view, Amgen has something for you. The company is at the forefront of a biotech products revolution that is just getting under way, and sales of biologics across the whole industry were up a rim-rattling 20% last year -- led by three Amgen drugs. Considering how early a stage the biopharmaceutical revolution is in, and the production difficulties, Amgen, along with fellow drug developer Genentech
Even better, with the cost of bringing a biopharmaceutical drug to market so prohibitive for most small drug developers, Amgen and the few other biotech behemoths have developed a huge economic moat around their operations. They can afford to either make a partnership agreement or just buy a smaller competitor outright when new technologies or drugs come along.
Nobody wants to run a fast break on a stock without knowing the financials, so let's get to them. Including stock-options expenses, investors can pick up shares of Amgen for a measly 16 times its trailing adjusted earnings per share of $3.76 last year. With revenue growth of 15% in 2006 and new products like cancer treatment Vectibix just coming online, Amgen has years of growth ahead of it as these products pick up steam.
Investors who choose Rule Maker drug companies like Amgen or Merck
There have been some recent negative developments for two of Amgen's top compounds. But at current share price levels, investors practicing a long-term buy and hold strategy have a slam dunk on their hands with shares of the company, once it scales back its enormous amount of R&D spending and new products start to bring in meaningful sales.
If you love Amgen as much as you do your top NCAA hoops pick and think it deserves to move onto the next round, simply follow this link and rank the stock "outperform" in Motley Fool CAPS. If you don't think it should advance, vote it "underperform." Later this week, we'll tally your votes to determine which stocks will advance one step closer to the title match.
Click here to read the opposing entry in this contest.
And follow this link to read all the other tourney entries.
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Fool contributor Brian Lawler used to go gaga for Gonzaga and does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Merck is a former Income Investor selection, and Intel is a current Inside Value pick. The Fool has a disclosure policy.