There are others, but these four companies - Celgene $CELG Biogen $BIIB Amgen $AMGN and Gilead $GILD - have often been discussed in these forums. These are a special subset of biotech companies, those that are large cap, have a long-tailed product line, but are still growth stocks. I have been bullish on all four in varying degrees.

Lately, however, these four companies have not been doing so well. Amgen, after a brief spike in summer, is back where it was last year. Biogen has it the other way around. After a brief but substantial fall this summer, it is almost back where it was last year. Celgene is down 20% from last year. Gilead, the worst performer of them all, is down more than 30%. If you had bought these four companies last year, with market caps of each nearing $100 billion, you would have lost a lot of money by now. Many of you probably did. I used to consider these bellwether stocks, stocks that you hold on to no matter what. In this article, I want to clarify my thoughts about these stocks, see if they are worth your (and my) patience. This article answers the question - which of these four stocks should you buy, were you to have to choose?

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It is easy to see what is wrong with Gilead. Its HCV revenue is slowing, HIV isn’t a big money maker, and despite making half-hearted attempts at NASH and cancer space, Gilead really hasn’t been successful at much of anything. The new CEO is doing as badly as the old one. It is a giant company, and it is sleeping.

Bottomline of the study above, in the short to midterm, Biogen and Amgen have more promise than Celgene and Gilead.