October 12, 2011 at 06:00 AM EDT
10 Big Pharma Stocks to Buy
Pharmaceutical stocks and drugmakers are theoretically recession-proof businesses. Still, not all pharma companies are created equal. Here are 10 clear winners

Rx_Symbol_185_FlickrPharmaceutical stocks and drug-makers are theoretically recession-proof businesses, since folks will do everything they can to maintain their quality of life through medication and treatments. Still, not all pharma companies are created equal and there are clear winners and losers in this health care sector.

I watch more than 5,000 publicly traded companies with my Portfolio Grader tool, ranking companies by a number of fundamental and quantitative measures. And this week, 10 Big Pharma stocks to buy.

Here they are, in alphabetical order. Each one of these stocks gets an “A” or “B” according to my research, meaning it is a “strong buy” or “buy.”

Akorn Inc. (NASDAQ:AKRX) develops and markets diagnostic and therapeutic ophthalmic pharmaceuticals in addition to various specialized hospital drugs. AKRX has gained 34% since the start of 2011.

Allergan Inc. (NYSE:AGN) is a big Pharma stock that develops and commercializes pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices and over-the-counter products. Since the start of 2011, AGN has gained 21%.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) deals with the discovery, development, licensing, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of pharmaceuticals internationally. Despite a down market, BMY is up 24% year-to-date.

Elan Corp. (NYSE:ELN) is a neuroscience based biotechnology company that has watched its stock soar 92% in just over 10 months, much to the delight of its shareholders.


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