While pharmaceutical stocks have been a standout sub-sector within health care this year, earnings have been disappointing, leading some analyst to call it a trend.
Pharmaceutical companies have seen a 4.7 percent contraction in earnings, and a 3.2 percent drop in revenue this quarter, according to Thomson Reuters. That is more of the same for pharmaceutical companies, which have seen a decline in earnings and revenue growth in each of the past four quarters, said Greg Harrison at Thomson Reuters.
Morningstar pharmaceutical analyst Damien Conover said there are two main reasons: Foreign-exchange rates are hurting year-over-year growth, especially when it comes to the yen. What's more, generic competition has been more intense than in the past, meaning as a drug loses patent protection the branded drug sales fall faster.