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A Tale Of Two Sectors

Tuesday, 9 Mar 2010 | 2:31 PM ET

I am not a numbers cruncher. In high school, for example, I elected to take what the Los Angeles Unified School District called "Algebra Experiences." It was a euphemism for, "If you can't hack Algebra 1 and 2 in a single semester, we'll spread it out over four semesters." And I still struggled with it.

So, thank goodness for the stock stat mavens here at CNBC.

trader
trader

On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the dot-com bubble bursting they sliced and diced all sorts of data on share price performance since March 10, 2000.

Unfortunately, Genentech can't be measured because it isn't around anymore as an independent, publicly-traded company, but the rest of big biotech has performed pretty darn well over the past decade.

As of yesterday's close, Gilead Sciences' stock is up 950 percent. Celgene has grown 339 percent. Even shares of the currently embattled Genzyme nearly doubled in 10 years. The previously embattled Biogen Idec saw a one-third improvement in the value of its shares. Amgen, however, is off three percent.

When I tweeted some of those fun facts on Twitterearlier today, one of the people who follows me quickly replied with a comparisonto the performance of a few big pharma stocks.

It's a stark, telling contrast that doesn't take an algebra whiz to figure out. Over the last 10 years Lilly has lost 41 percent of its value, Merck dropped 40 percent, Pfizer fell 50 percent and so did Bristol-Myers Squibb.

  Price   Change %Change
EME
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DTST
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BMY
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FNGN
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GYLD
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LLY
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MRK
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PFE
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2000-2010 in biopharma.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com and follow me on Twitter at mhuckman

  Price   Change %Change
LLY
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CELG
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AMGN
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BIIB
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GILD
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PFE
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