3. Winner: Amgen

Company: Amgen
Symbol: ($AMGN)
Beginning price: $64.11
Ending price: $87.6
Gain: 36.64%

The reason Amgen ($AMGN) is trading at record-high prices has as much to do with financial basics as drug sales or pipeline promise, RBC Capital Markets analyst Michael Yee explained to Bloomberg after it soundly beat Wall Street earnings estimates. It has a $10 billion share buyback program, pays a dividend and is managing the revenue decline from its key anemia drugs. The share price rise accelerated in May when Robert Bradway became CEO of the world's largest biotech company. Oh, and the company has also published some positive data showing its drug for lowering bad cholesterol reduced LDL by as much as 63%, as it competes with a number of competitors to find a successor to Lipitor.

For more:
Big Pharma betting billions in high-stakes hunt for the next Lipitor
PCSK9 rivals Amgen and Pfizer angle for AHA spotlight with promising data

3. Winner: Amgen

Suggested Articles

Bluebird Bio has overcome a manufacturing hiccup that looked like it would delay its gene therapy launch in Europe until next year.

Lilly's top U.S. executive is on his way out. Enrique Conterno, who also heads up Lilly's global diabetes business, will step down at year's end.

GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim are facing lawsuit claims that they failed to test for possible carcinogens in Zantac.