The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NasdaqGM: IBB), the largest biotechnology exchange traded fund by assets, is up nearly 13% year-to-date, indicating biotechnology is playing a pivotal role in the broader healthcare sector’s resurgence.
Biotechnology historically trades at multiples that are elevated relative to broader benchmarks, but after last year’s of struggles for biotechnology names, some analysts see value with some big-name biotech stocks.
IBB, which holds nearly 190 stocks and is a cap-weighted ETF, has a price-to-earnings ratio of just over 21 and a price-to-book ratio of 4.92. The ETF’s three-year standard deviation is just over 25 percent.
Market observers are growing more bullish on the sector as a Republican-led Congress and administration could enact reforms to free cash held overseas for tax reason by large U.S. pharmaceutical companies, which could pave the way for increased acquisitions in the sector. The White House is also looking to help the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expedite new drug approvals, which could serve as a major catalyst for the biotechnology space.