This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Biotech 2013 by the Numbers: A Blockbuster Year

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Hello, 2014! Before we crack open the new year, let's close the books on what was a very big 2013 in biotech investing.

And yes, investors did very well in biotech in 2013. This chart says it all:

IBB Chart
IBB data by YCharts

In a year where the markets outperformed, the biotech sector performed even better, posting returns not seen since 1999. Phenomenal. No wonder we saw a huge influx of generalist investors into healthcare stocks in 2013.

I'm a skeptic and always nagging readers about risk, so you know I have to point out something for biotech investors to worry about.

Biotech stocks underperformed the S&P 500 in the fourth quarter:

IBB Chart
IBB data by YCharts

Biotech stocks rallied in December but the significant selling in October could not be overcome.

Must Read: The Billion-Dollar Biotech Club: Speculation Trumped Risk

Generic drug maker Lannett Co. (LCI - Get Report) was the sector's top-performing stock, with a return of 567%. Here's what that looks like in chart form:

LCI Chart
LCI data by YCharts

The rest of the Top 10:

Chelsea Therapeutics (CHTP) 484%
Inovio Pharma (INO - Get Report) 481%
Puma Biotech (PBYI) 452%
Acadia Pharma (ACAD - Get Report) 437%
BioCryst Pharma (BCRX) 435%
Idera Pharma (IDRA)420%
Arrowhead Research (ARWR) 407%
Gentium (GENT) 403%
Insys Therapeutics (INSY) 400%

A single biotech and drug stock (Lannett) posted a six-fold bump in share price this year. Nine stocks increased in value by five times, 3 stocks quadrupled in value and 26 stocks tripled in value, according to S&P CapitalIQ.

Not all biotech and drug stocks fared so well in 2013: The biggest losers were:

Celsion (CLSN) -89%
Aastrom Biosciences (ASTM) -87%
Cardium Therapeutics (CXM) -78%
Cel-Sci (CVM) -78%
Aveo Pharma  (AVEO) -77%

Enjoy New Year's Day. Tomorrow, we'll get started covering biotech 2014.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
CHTP $0.00 0.00%
ACAD $17.55 0.00%
INO $6.19 0.00%
LCI $24.28 0.00%
PBYI $38.69 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 15,660.18 -254.56 -1.60%
S&P 500 1,829.08 -22.78 -1.23%
NASDAQ 4,266.8370 -16.7550 -0.39%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs