The biotech-a-palooza continues at the UBS
Qiagen's products are primarily consumables, insuring a steady high-volume repeat business. By serving the health-care and research communities, the company is largely insulated from fickle economic trends like consumer spending habits. Qiagen also offers a growing catalog of molecular diagnostic test kits, and provides as OEM sample collection consumables to the diagnostic kits of partner companies. Certainly Qiagen has built an attractive and profitable business.
Whether Qiagen is currently an attractive investment is another question, as the firm is trading very near its 52-week high. To help analyze whether that price is too high, let's look at some of Qiagen's key metrics alongside similar firms supporting the biotechnology industry. The table below looks at Qiagen and biotechnology/pharmaceutical suppliers Millipore
While Qiagen is strongest in terms of operating margins, it is richly priced in valuation measurements like price per earnings and price per sales in comparison with its peers -- though one could argue that Qiagen should trade at higher multiples because of its superior margins. While this is a quality company operating an attractive business, I would choose to wait for a better price before adding it to my portfolio.