Stockwatch: Colors Of The Fall
This article was originally published in Scrip
Something strange is happening in the stock market. What ended up as the best week of the year for the broad S&P 500 index was a down-week and month to date for the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (NBI). This is not supposed to happen since the biotech sector is higher beta, meaning that if the broad equity index finishes the week up, the NBI should finish the week up more.
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Sales expectations for the products of companies like Acadia, BTG, Keryx and probably Sarepta remain too high, despite the bursting of the last biotech bubble. Aggressive price increases have traditionally been one way to inch closer to those expectations but that door has closed.
If demand-side pressures on the life science sector were not enough, generic price erosion, debt repayment and extended restructurings are worsening the generic pharmaceutical investment proposition.
Depending on the therapeutic area, a fall in pharmaceutical sales was an obvious effect of the pandemic, although lower selling and marketing expenses and fewer non-COVID-19 infections were minor positives.