Considering the role pharmacists and all medical staff has played in the last two years, you can imagine it hasn’t been the easiest time for them. So, in honor of National Pharmacist Day and the work businesses have done in prescription and distribution, let’s look at some top stocks that are helping along the way.
Walgreens Boots Alliance
You can’t not mention Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ: WBA) when it comes to pharmacies and pharmacists — it employs a whole lot of them after all. The company’s 225,000 workforce was one of the names behind 287 million subscriptions being dished out in 2020.
You might think of these old brick-and-mortar stores as lacking innovation, but Walgreens was actually the company to launch ‘Pre-Scribe Software’ back in 1992 which allowed prescriptions to be filled electronically. Fast-forward to now, and the company is fulfilling one electronic subscription via mobile devices per second.
As it stands, Walgreens is a classic value stock, at a lowly trailing-twelve-month price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 7, and with a sizeable 3.55% annual dividend to sweeten the deal. The pharma giant has continuously smashed its earnings estimates for the last several quarters too — $34 billion was achieved for revenue in Q1 2022, with Walgreens increasing its guidance for the full-year outlook, attributable to ongoing COVID-19 vaccinations and testing.
Albeit under unfortunate circumstances, Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) has been a main beneficiary of the COVID-19 pandemic. All the while, traditional and growth stocks alike have come under pressure due to a flurry of issues — valuation scrutiny, inflation, rate hikes, and political turmoil — but this vaccine producer has been thriving and can almost do no wrong.
Pfizer is a company that pre-pandemic, was trading mostly sideways for a number of years, but it’s making the most of its services despite what has made for troubling times. Pfizer has been a big part of our return-to-normal and it continues to be. Although the major concerns have settled down since the onslaught in March 2020, infection rates are at record highs and Pfizer is still ahead of the curve with the rollout of its booster jabs which will be available for children aged 5-15 now as well in the first half of 2022.
Revenues for the company jumped 134% year-over-year from $10 billion in Q3 2020 to over $24 billion in Q3 2021. Net income was $8.4 billion for the company in the quarter too, an absolutely massive increase from $1.4 billion during the same period in the year prior.
Traditionally, Pfizer has been a great pick for exposure to the pharmaceuticals market and even offered an extra value-add with its 2.8% dividend for investors. One risk that investors have to be aware of, however, is the plausibility of a slowdown in revenue growth and profitability in the coming years.
Unless we experience a permanent ‘Groundhog Day’-like state of COVID-19 — which it definitely feels like at this stage — we can expect to see a pullback in the long term. There’s likely still some growth ahead for this one, but with $14.5 billion of the aforementioned $24 billion in revenue coming solely from vaccines, it could be one to be wary of when holding long-term.
Financial Writer at MyWallSt
David's favorite stock is Google. He's a daily user of its YouTube platform, where you can learn or find something brand new at the touch of a button. He believes the company will continue to grow for many years to come.