A Look At Pharma ETFs Post Q1 Earnings

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The first-quarter results of the healthcare sector have been unimpressive, with earnings of 78% of the sector participants that have reported so far down 31.2% despite 4.4% revenue growth. The earnings beat ratio of 93.9% and the revenue beat ratio of 75.8% are assuring, though. Combining the actual results with the estimates for the still-to-report companies, the total earnings of the sector are expected to decline 25.1% despite revenue growth of 7.1%.

However, many industry bigwigs reported solid results, with some beating on earnings or revenues or both. As such, pharma ETFs have delivered mixed performances over the past month. iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF (IHE - Free Report), VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH - Free Report), SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF (XPH - Free Report) and First Trust Nasdaq Pharmaceuticals ETF (FTXH - Free Report) have lost 3.7%,1.9%, 2.9%, and 3.1% respectively, while Invesco Pharmaceuticals ETF (PJP - Free Report) has added 0.8% in a month.

Let’s delve deeper into the earnings of some of the bigwigs:


Earnings in Focus

Johnson and Johnson

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) continued with its long streak of earnings beat but lagged revenue estimates. Earnings per share came in at $2.71, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.64 and improving 12.4% from the year-ago quarter. Revenues grew 2% year over year to $21.38 billion and fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $21.4 billion. For 2024, Johnson & Johnson revised its guidance from $88.2-$89.0 billion to $87.8-$88.6 billion, indicating year-over-year growth of 5.5%-6.0%. The adjusted earnings per share guidance was tightened from $10.55-$10.75 to $10.57 to $10.72.

Pfizer

Pfizer (PFE) topped estimates on both the top and bottom lines. It reported adjusted earnings per share of 82 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 56 cents per share but declined 33% year over year. Revenues declined 20% year over year to $14.88 billion and fell short of the consensus mark of $13.96 billion. The U.S. drug giant reaffirmed its revenue guidance of $58.5-$61.5 billion and raised its adjusted earnings per share to $2.15-$2.35 from $2.05-$2.25 for 2024.

Merck

Merck (MRK - Free Report) also topped earnings and revenue estimates. It posted earnings per share of $2.07, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.94 and increased 48% from the year-ago earnings. Revenues rose 9% year over year to $15.78 billion and edged past the consensus mark of $15.37 billion. Merck lifted the lower end of its revenue guidance. It now expects revenues in the range of $63.1-$64.2 billion from $62.7-$64.2 billion, while earnings per share are expected in the range of $8.53-$8.65 versus the prior expectation of $8.44-$8.59.

Bristol-Myers

Bristol-Myers (BMY - Free Report) also reported better-than-expected results. It posted a loss per share of $4.40, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $4.53 per share. In the year-ago quarter, BMY posted adjusted earnings per share of $2.05. Revenues grew 5% year over year to $11.86 billion and edged past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $11.46 billion. For 2024, Bristol-Myers expects revenues to increase in the low single digits while earnings per share are expected in the band of 40 cents to 70 cents, down from the earlier estimate of $7.10-$7.40, to reflect the dilutive impact of recent acquisitions and collaborations.

Eli Lilly and Company

Eli Lilly and Company (LLY - Free Report) posted mixed first-quarter 2024 earnings, beating earnings estimates but lagging on revenues. Earnings per share came in at $2.58, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.53 and improving 59% from the year-ago number. Revenues rose 26% to $8.77 billion but fell short of the estimated $8.81 billion. Eli Lilly raised the 2024 revenue guidance to $42.4-$43.6 billion from $40.4-$41.6 billion, while the adjusted earnings per share guidance was upped to $13.50-$14.00 from the prior projection of $12.20-$12.70.


ETF Angle

iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF (IHE)

iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF provides exposure to 34 U.S. companies that manufacture prescription or over-the-counter drugs or vaccines by tracking the Dow Jones U.S. Select Pharmaceuticals Index. The in-focus five firms are the top holdings in the basket, accounting for a combined 59% of the total assets, suggesting heavy concentration. iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF has $654.8 million in AUM and charges 40 bps in fees and expenses. It carries a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a High risk outlook.

VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH)

VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF follows the MVIS US Listed Pharmaceutical 25 Index and holds 26 stocks in its basket. The five firms collectively account for a 33.2% share in the fund’s basket. The product has amassed $512.7 million in its asset base and charges 36 bps in annual fees. VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a Medium risk outlook.

SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF (XPH)

SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF provides exposure to pharma companies by tracking the S&P Pharmaceuticals Select Industry Index. With AUM of $197.9 million, it holds 41 securities, with the in-focus firms making up about 4% share each. SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF charges 35 bps in fees a year and has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a High risk outlook.

Invesco Pharmaceuticals ETF (PJP)

Invesco Pharmaceuticals ETF offers exposure to companies that are principally engaged in the research, development, manufacture, sale, or distribution of pharmaceuticals and drugs of all types. It follows the Dynamic Pharmaceuticals Intellidex Index and holds 24 stocks in its basket, with the in-focus firms making up at least 5% share each. Invesco Pharmaceuticals ETF has AUM of about $270.2 million and charges 57 bps in fees and expenses. The ETF has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a High risk outlook.

First Trust Nasdaq Pharmaceuticals ETF (FTXH)

First Trust Nasdaq Pharmaceuticals ETF tracks the Nasdaq US Smart Pharmaceuticals Index, holding 50 securities in its basket. The in-focus five firms account for a combined 32.2% of the assets. FTXH has AUM of $19.9 million. First Trust Nasdaq Pharmaceuticals ETF charges 60 bps in annual fees and has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy).


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