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:
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:
Biotech stocks rallied in December but the significant selling in October could not be overcome.
Generic drug maker Lannett Co. (LCI) was the sector's top-performing stock, with a return of 567%. Here's what that looks like in chart form:
The rest of the Top 10:
Chelsea Therapeutics (CHTP) 484%
Inovio Pharma (INO) 481%
Puma Biotech (PBYI) 452%
Acadia Pharma (ACAD) 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:
Enjoy New Year's Day. Tomorrow, we'll get started covering biotech 2014.