Biotech Stocks to Buy – Amgen (AMGN)
In a biotech sector heavily populated with small and micro-cap stocks, Amgen (AMGN) is a large-cap pure play. AMGN has made mergers and acquisitions a priority, most notably with last year’s $10 billion purchase of Onyx Pharmaceuticals and its cancer drugs.
From a drug pipeline perspective, the FDA earlier this month gave AMGN’s blinatumomab a Breakthrough Therapy Designation based on results of a Phase II clinical trial. Blinatumomab is an antibody that helps the human immune system detect and kill cancer cells for certain types of leukemia and lymphoma.
The company’s spinout of Atara Biotherapeutics is considering a $50 million IPO, according to the San Francisco Business Times. AMGN had been working with Bind Therapeutics (BIND) to develop targeted cancer therapies on BIND’s nanotechnology platform, but the companies broke off the deal last week.
Amgen’s shares have slipped 6% since mid-March, but are climbing again. Meanwhile, AMGN stock is trading at less than 14 times forward earnings, it has nearly $4 billion in levered-free cash and pays a current dividend yield of 2%.
While risk is always a concern with biotech stocks, AMGN is less volatile and a much more stable play than many other biotech stocks.