Pharma Stocks in Focus: Novartis (NYSE: NVS), Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ICPT), Teva Pharmaceutical (NYSE: TEVA)

The pharmaceuticals industry has also been gripped by the aftereffects of coronavirus pandemic as even the pharma shares representing some of the major corporations like Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS), Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ICPT) have been trading in a sombre mood, and some are even below their respective 52-week highs.

The global medical health emergency has brought the business to a standstill following which the pharmaceutical companies that are intended to gain from the pandemic are very limited. Implying, the pharma companies that are not directly or indirectly associated with the coronavirus vaccine development have been facing a relative dearth of business.

The recent breakthrough in the development of the coronavirus vaccine in Phase 3 clinical trials seemed to have reinstated the optimism amidst the investors, steering a market-wide rally across major markets of the world from New York-to-London-to-Tokyo. However, a clear winner in the race of developing a Covid-19 vaccine is yet to be ascertained as all the companies have to go through Phase 4 and Phase 5 of the process in which they are required to receive regulatory approvals among other things.

Following the reinforced conditions prevailing in the financial markets, we take a look at the share price performance of three pharmaceuticals companies.

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS)

Shares of Novartis International AG, the Basel-headquartered pharmaceuticals major, has regained partial losses, suffered during the Covid-19-led slump in the stock markets across the world. However, the share price return of Novartis is still negative for the present calendar year. On a year-to-date (YTD) basis, Novartis shares still trade about 8 per cent lower even after recovering more than 27 per cent in the following month from the yearly closing bottom achieved in March.

The stock of Novartis collapsed over 28 per cent to the yearly closing low of $70.67 (23 March) from a share price level of $99.01 as on 12 February. Following the uneven recovery, Novartis shares have rebounded 23.55 per cent to $87.31 (23 November) from the yearly closing bottom of March. 

Novartis shares (YTD)

(Source: Refinitiv, Thomson Reuters)

Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ICPT)

Shares of the New York-headquartered drug developer Intercept Pharmaceuticals have been largely falling in the present calendar year after registering a sharp recovery from the slump observed during pandemic peak. The stock of Intercept Pharmaceuticals crashed about 59 per cent to $48.35 (18 March) during the initial wave of coronavirus pandemic from $118.68 per share as on 2 January 2020.

Shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals went on to gain registering a sharp rebound from the $48.35 per share level to $92.04 (20 May) in nearly two months, witnessing a spike of 90.36 per cent. The stock of Intercept Pharmaceuticals failed to sustain the recovery and has already fallen more than 61 per cent from the share price value on 20 May. On a YTD basis, Intercept Pharmaceuticals shares have dropped a little over 70 per cent.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals (YTD)

(Source: Refinitiv, Thomson Reuters)

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NYSE: TEVA)

Shares of the Israel-based American Israeli pharma company Teva Pharmaceutical have been in the positive territory in the present calendar year after the stock witnessed a steep bounce from the yearly closing low price of $6.69 observed on 18 March.

The stock of Teva Pharmaceutical gained as much as 96.11 per cent to $13.12 from yearly closing bottom after the company lost a little more than 50 per cent of the market capitalisation in just a month between 19 February and 18 March. On a YTD scale, shares of Teva Pharmaceutical are largely unchanged due to the lower denominator. The stock of Teva Pharmaceutical last closed at $9.61, up 1.3 per cent.

Teva Pharmaceutical (YTD)

(Source: Thomson Reuters)