Ascend Capital and Gilead Sciences
Ascend Capital started a new position in Gilead Sciences (GILD). The fund bought 513,858 shares worth $48 million. According to the latest 13F filings for 4Q14, it accounts for 1.86% of the hedge fund’s total portfolio.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, and commercializes innovative medicines for life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead’s primary focus areas include:
- HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
- liver diseases such as chronic HBV (Hepatitis B virus) infection and chronic HCV (Hepatitis C virus) infection
- oncology and inflammation
- serious cardiovascular and respiratory conditions
Gilead Sciences announced 4Q14 results
In February 2015, Gilead announced its 4Q14 results. It reported revenue of $7.3 billion. This was a significant 137% increase compared to $3.1 billion for 4Q13. Net income for 4Q14 was $3.5 billion, or $2.18 per diluted share—compared to $791 million, or $0.47 per diluted share, for 4Q13.
Revenue for financial year 2014 was $24.9 billion—compared to $11.2 billion for 2013. This was an increase of 127%. The net income for 2014 was $12.1 billion, or $7.35 per diluted share—compared to $3.1 billion, or $1.81 per diluted share, for 2013.
Gilead’s management said, “The past year was marked by the launch of our first oncology product, second HCV medication, and regulatory filings for the next generation HIV medicine, E/C/F/TAF, and a doubling of product revenues relative to 2013. We are entering 2015 with financial strength, a portfolio of 19 marketed products that are addressing significant unmet medical needs and a pipeline for which we expect a number of milestones and data readouts during the coming year.”
Gilead’s dividend and share buyback program
In February 2015, Gilead announced that its board of directors authorized a dividend program. The company will pay quarterly dividends of $0.43 per share starting in 2Q15. The board of directors also approved share repurchase of up to $15 billion of the firm’s common stock.
Gilead had returns of 37.83% in the last 12 months. It had higher stock returns than GlaxoSmithKline Plc. (GSK) and Pfizer (PFE). GlaxoSmithKline had a return of -14.57%. In the same period, Pfizer returned 6.84% to common equity shareholders.
In the next part of this series, we’ll discuss Ascend Capital’s position in PVH Corp.