Stem cells have potential. You'd be hard-pressed to find a scientist -- or a celebrity for that matter -- who thinks studying them is a waste of time.
But, celebrity endorsements and potential don't make money. Stem cells need to produce actual treatments before they'll make investors serious money, and there's still a lot of risk of failure.
That risk makes it extremely hard for investors to value the companies. A look at the chart of Geron
You could try to use that volatility to your advantage or you could buy larger, more stable companies like Pfizer
With that in mind, one company I like is also one of the largest players in reagents needed to grow stem cells: Life Technologies
Life Technologies doesn't break out sales of its products supporting stem cell research, but stem cell system products was highlighted as one of the reasons for a 7% increase in sales at constant currency in its cell systems division last quarter.
Stem cells probably shouldn't be the only reason for investing in Life Technologies -- it's likely a small fraction of total revenue -- but, because stem cell research probably isn't going away anytime soon, these support products should continue to give the company a solid boost.
Some more Foolishness: