Q: What are your thoughts on the pharmaceutical area?
A: Let's start with the big picture first: We're overweight for the health-care sector. Within health care, one of our favorite subindustries is pharmaceuticals. We think particularly in 2003, with the lessening of generic competition, strong earnings trends, and pretty solid balance sheets, this group looks attractive to perform.
Our two favorites are Pfizer (PFE ) and Merck. Pfizer has been stuck in a pretty tight trading range. It closed at just under $32 today and has just shy of a 2% dividend yield. We think what has held the stock back was the time it took to close the Pharmacia acquisition, which was delayed from the end of 2002 into the beginning of April. The company will need to demonstrate its ability to go in and cut costs, and we think they'll do that