Website touts Pfizer 2014 stock results

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc., which has its largest worldwide research site in Groton, is the third best-performing company so far this year among the 30 bellwether stocks that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

According to an article titled "The 5 Stocks Have Kept the Dow Alive in 2014" on the investment site TheMotleyFool.com, Pfizer's share price as of Thursday was up 4.8 percent the year. This is in addition to the 26 percent stock bump Pfizer saw last year and compares with an overall 3.3 percent decline in the Dow so far this year.

It also didn't include Pfizer's dividend yield of more than 3 percent.

Only fellow drug stock Merck and machinery manufacturer Caterpillar have performed better than Pfizer so far this year among Dow Jones components. Merck's stock is up 10.9 percent, while Caterpillar has inched its way to a 6.8 percent gain.

"Pfizer's fourth quarter showed a steep drop in net income, but the upside is that two promising drugs might soon bring windfalls," said TheMotleyFool, referring to breast cancer treatment palbociclib and pneumonia vaccine Prevnar. "These drugs might not fully offset the billions of dollars Pfizer has already lost to generic competition, but investors don't care, especially considering that Pfizer has the best (profit) margin of the Dow's 30 components."

On Friday, Pfizer stock saw another increase - more than half a percent - to close at $31.88, dangling near heights it hadn't seen in a decade. This was after being named one of the Dogs of the Dow in 2013 for its underwhelming stock performance the previous year.

Other top-5 Dow stocks so far this year have been entertainment giant Disney, up 3.3 percent, and financial services firm Visa, racking up a 1.1 percent gain as of Thursday. All five stocks saw gains Friday, headed by Visa, with a nearly 2 percent increase on the day.

l.howard@theday.com

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