The completed analysis, performed by GlobalData, a data and analytics company, reveals a number of interesting insights.
The pharma sector’s 2017 v 2016 year on year performance inevitably created a mixed picture, with only half of the top 25 companies’ market cap achieving double digit growth and five players, Merck US, Celgene, GlaxoSmithKline, Allergan and Shire seeing their market cap fall.
However, based on market cap J&J, Roche and Pfizer retained market position among the top three players.
GlobalData’s analysis of each business in the top 25 is based on a number of key metrics including market cap (M Cap), price-earnings ratio (P/E), earnings per share (EPS), enterprise value to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EV/EBITDA), return on capital employed (RoCE %), return on assets (ROA), research and development as a percentage of sales (R&D/Sales %) and operating margin, to help assess the health of the top players.
Other highlights from the top 25 included Vertex, who fared better than most by doubling its market cap to $40 billion in 2017, driven by positive results from its clinical studies of a breakthrough drug for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.