The new Gilead Sciences
In the second quarter, the HIV specialist recorded a solid 11% increase in revenue. Atripla, which is a combination of two drugs from Gilead, and Bristol-Myers Squibb's
Sales of its heart drugs Letairis and Ranexa both increased substantially more than the antiviral franchise -- 22% and 42% increases, respectively -- but they're such a small part of the total that they really can't move the meter much.
Gilead might not be able to keep the double-digit growth going forever; theoretically, the HIV market will get saturated at some point. And competition from ViiV Healthcare, a joint venture of GlaxoSmithKline
But Gilead does have some options to improve the bottom line even if the top line doesn't improve all that much. Its combination of Truvada and Johnson & Johnson's
Further down the line, Gilead will be dependent on its move into cancer. But we won't know for years whether the oncology drugs will help keep the double-digit growth going. For now, investors should focus on the HIV franchise, Gilead's best chance at growing income.
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Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Gilead Sciences, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and GlaxoSmithKline. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.