The pharmaceutical giant turned in an in line fourth-quarter, but new competition and a strong dollar will slow growth in 2015, writes Morningstar’s Damien Conover .
As the eyes of the world turn to the ECB, some are beginning to worry about the strength of the U.S. economy.
Merck's reinvigorated pipeline and Sanofi's minimal patent-loss exposure placed them atop our rankings this year, while GlaxoSmithKline joined Pfizer toward the bottom.
Many developed-country health-care firms have deep roots in emerging markets and can be a good way to gain exposure, says Morningstar's Damien Conover .
Unexpectedly robust sales of hepatitis C drug Olysio helped lift the drug giant’s pharma segment, while medical devices struggled, says Morningstar’s Damien Conover .
The firm's consumer and medical-device group are lagging, but strong results from the pharmaceuticals side should drive earnings throughout this year and into 2015, says Morningstar's Damien Conover .
Cost-cutting, tax opportunities, and oncology synergies are motivating factors for Pfizer, and the firms will likely agree to merge, says Morningstar's Damien Conover .
Plus, more muddling for Europe, a pricey purchase for Merck, and U.S. retail registers ring.
Recent deals have been driven more by tax strategies than therapeutic synergies.
The health-care sector has a higher volume of moat firms compared with other industries, and companies' patent and brand power deliver very strong returns on capital.