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Gilead was Great Once but is Now Awful and Depressing

How bad is Gilead Sciences (GILD) these days? So bad that analysts, scrambling for something encouraging to say after another quarter of disappointing earnings, praised the company for not cutting sales guidance again.

Gilead is a great biotech company. Its drugs helped transform HIV from a fatal epidemic into a chronic, manageable and survivable disease. For an encore, Gilead cured hepatitis C for almost every patient that can swallow a daily pill for three months. Patients benefited. Shareholders profited.

But greatness doesn't last forever. Gilead is experiencing a stretch of awfulness right now that I can only describe as depressing. The company's current performance almost physically hurts.

Third quarter earnings reported Tuesday night was a retread of the same...