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Gilead, Amgen Q4 Earnings And Weak Outlook Affect Biotech ETFs

The biotech sector stood out last year and the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index delivered a stellar 34% return for 2014.

Despite some temporary glitches and rough trading in between, encouraging industry trends, increasing merger and acquisition activities, several important product approvals and label expansions, ever-increasing healthcare spending and an aging population led the sector to easily outperform the broader U.S. equity markets (read: 3 Biotech ETF Winners from 2014's Best Performing Sector).

The strong performance continued into the New Year with most of the biotech ETFs trading in the green in the year-to-date frame. However, the industry has started to show some weakness lately. Unlike the third quarter wherein most of the well-known industry players easily managed to beat our estimates on both earnings and revenues, the fourth quarter saw some of them reporting mixed financial results.

Though the top players like Gilead (GILD) and Amgen (AMGN) have reported strong… Read More …