Big pharma earnings season is in full bloom. The latest to report today is Schering-Plough
Sales gained 13% and net income rose nearly 120% for the quarter. Since Schering is a serial user of "one-time" charges to rejigger its non-GAAP earnings per share, I'll stick with reporting its GAAP earnings per share of $0.34, which were more than double over last year. Sales of its two top products, Nasonex and Remicade, both showed no signs of slowing growth -- each were up more than 20%.
Schering still expects its $14 billion cash acquisition of Organon Biosciences to close by the end of the year. Once it completes this transaction its financials will look substantially different with Organon's $5 billion in annual sales on its books. Schering will have to do some cost cutting and synergy creation to justify this rather healthy acquisition price.
Relative to some of its big pharma and biotech peers like Gilead Sciences
Barring unforeseen setbacks with any of its lead drugs, I don't expect anything particularly bad to happen to Schering shares in the near term -- but neither does it offer the compelling valuations of some other pharma stocks. Unlike my Foolish colleague, I see Schering as more of a growth stock.
Investors willing to put up with a higher valuation yet seeking growth should stick with Schering, while those in search of higher-yielding value-type drugmakers would be smart to look elsewhere. Schering's paltry 0.8% dividend yield doesn't stack up to the healthier dividends paid by the likes of Johnson and Johnson
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Fool contributor Brian Lawler does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Pfizer is an Inside Value selection, and Johnson and Johnson is an Income Investor pick. The Fool has a disclosure policy.