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