Even if Italy's vote on austerity measures and the replacement for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi don't give you chest pains, London -based drug maker AstraZeneca (AZN) may be a safe place to hide. The maker of heart drug Crestor has seen its shares stay relatively flat since the beginning of 2008 even as the world's been gripped by a global financial crisis not seen since the Great Depression.
The company currently earns more than half of its $33.3 billion in annual sales from the Americas and has seen record operating profits of more than $11 billion since the financial crisis. Compared with rival Germany drugmaker Novartis (NVS), AstraZeneca has seen shares fall just over 1% this year compared with over 6% for the maker of Diovan. Out of $50.6 billion in annual sales, Novartis generates just 31% of sales from the U.S.
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