If you've spent the last few months trying to pick the winning stock of the swine flu vaccine horse race, here's a challenging opinion for you…you might be wasting your time. It's not that they're necessarily won't be a winner. Indeed, there may be several winners. But, maybe the word 'winner' is strictly a relative term.

20 Tools For Building Up Your Portfolio

The Latest
Though the World Health Organization has been dealing with the swine flu outbreak since March, it wasn't until the last few days they deemed it 'unstoppable' as a pandemic. As such, the WHO also formally gave pharmaceutical companies the full go-ahead to begin making H1N1 vaccines.

A spokesperson for the World Health Organization also said a vaccine could be ready by September.

But which vaccine? Which company? Great question - they didn't say. I'm sure the WHO knows several companies are working on them; I just don't think they care at this point by who or how many companies it's made.

So is it possible that several pharmaceutical manufacturers are in a position to win this game? It seems to be the case, especially if revenue is the scorecard.

Cash-Backed Demand
At the same time the WHO was announcing that the swine flu outbreak was unstoppable, the United States - through the U.S. Health and Human Services office - was committing another $884 million towards H1N1 vaccine ingredients (on top of the $1 billion allocation from May). This latest round of money was being allocated to four different companies. Other governments are also throwing money at manufacturers using the shotgun approach.

Multiple companies are winning, even though none of them have actually produced a tested and approved swine flu vaccine yet. (Learn more about investing into companies that perform significant research and development in our article Buying Into R&D.)

Who Gets What?
Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) could be getting an estimated $245 million in sales from France, and the U.K. has ordered up to 90 million doses of an H1N1 vaccine through a Baxter/Glaxo partnership. Though no price has been set yet, a cost of $10 per dose of flu vaccine seems to (roughly) be the going rate. So, it wouldn't be off base to say Glaxo and Baxter could be splitting up to $900 million.

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), aside from the deal with Baxter and the U.K. government, will also be receiving $71.4 million from the U.S. government for bulk oil and water adjuvant.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) will be one of four companies splitting over $900 million from the France vaccination effort. The biggest win will come from the latest round of U.S. spending though. Novartis will be collecting another $690 million for its antigen.

Interestingly, the U.K. has not placed an order for any of the Novartis vaccine, though the company reports 35 other countries have. That's the power of being first, though it's not yet clear how well the vaccine performs.

Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) - through Sanofi-Pasteur - will also be splitting France's $900 million effort in addition to collecting $61.4 million from the U.S. Health and Human Services office for bulk vaccine antigen.

MedImmune, a subsidiary of AstraZenaca (NYSE:AZN), is in line to collect $61 million from the U.S. government for its nasal spray version of an H1N1 vaccine. That's on top of the $90 million contract from earlier this year.

There's another company that's also in the swine flu vaccine race that we haven't heard much about - Sinovac Biotech Ltd. (NYSE:SVA). We do know that China's government ordered 4 million vaccine doses, which should roughly translate into $40 million in revenue (if the pricing is consistent with other flu doses). The company is planning to supply up to 10 million doses to the Beijing government.

The Bottom Line
That's a lot of dollars, and bear in mind this new money is an addition to the initial orders place immediately after the worry began this spring.

Many have been trying to pinpoint which company is making the 'best' swine flu vaccine. Maybe you don't have to. It looks like any and all of them are in demand, since there's not enough of it around (and won't be for a while). As long as they show any efficacy at all in testing, and don't cause major harm, I have a feeling they'll all be widely used.

Why? Because at this juncture, quantity is more critical than quality. That will change once the pandemic is under control, but for this first wave, I think all these stocks have something going for them. The top lines are already set up very nicely for Q3 and Q4. (See Patents Are Assets, So Learn How To Value Them and Pharma Patent Trolls: Cheap Drugs At A Steep Price for additional reading.)

Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Analyzing Altria's Return on Equity (ROE) (MO)

    Learn about Altria Group's return on equity (ROE) and analyze net profit margin, asset turnover and financial leverage to determine what is causing its high ROE.
  2. Investing News

    Icahn's Bet on Cheniere Energy: Should You Follow?

    Investing legend Carl Icahn continues to lose money on Cheniere Energy, but he's increasing his stake. Should you follow his lead?
  3. Stock Analysis

    Analyzing Google's Return on Equity (ROE) (GOOGL)

    Learn about Alphabet's return on equity. How has its ROE changed over time, how does it compare to its peers and what factors are driving ROE for the company?
  4. Investing News

    Is Buffett's Bet on Oil Right for You? (XOM, PSX)

    Oil stocks are getting trounced, but Warren Buffett still likes one of them. Should you follow the leader?
  5. Investing News

    Chipotle Served with Criminal Probe

    Chipotle's beat muted expectations and got a clear bill from the CDC, but it now appears that an investigation into its E.coli breakout has expanded.
  6. Stock Analysis

    Analyzing Sprint Corp's Return on Equity (ROE) (S)

    Learn about Sprint's return on equity. Find out why its ROE is negative and how asset turnover and financial leverage impact ROE relative to Sprint's peers.
  7. Stock Analysis

    Why Alphabet is the Best of the 'FANGs' for 2016

    Alphabet just impressed the street, but is it the best FANG stock?
  8. Investing News

    A 2016 Outlook: What January 2009 Can Teach Us

    January 2009 and January 2016 were similar from an investment standpoint, but from a forward-looking perspective, they were very different.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    3 Vanguard Equity Fund Underperformers

    Discover three funds from Vanguard Group that consistently underperform their indexes. Learn how consistent most Vanguard low-fee funds are at matching their indexes.
  10. Investing News

    Alphabet Earnings Beat Expectations (GOOGL, AAPL)

    Alphabet's earnings crush analysts' expectations; now bigger than Apple?
  1. How do dividends affect retained earnings?

    When a company issues a cash dividend to its shareholders, the retained earnings listed on the balance sheet are reduced ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between issued share capital and subscribed share capital?

    The difference between subscribed share capital and issued share capital is the former relates to the amount of stock for ... Read Full Answer >>
Trading Center