Woodford Investment Management has named the top-performing stocks across its product range in August, as it admitted Hillary Clinton's recent comments about tackling drug pricing if elected in November "modestly weakened" a number of top holdings.
Woodford IM's £9.6bn Equity Income fund and £804m Patient Capital trust, both managed by Neil Woodford (pictured), managed to maintain positive performance over month, returning 1.6% and 3.6% respectively over August.
Clinton's comments centred on speciality pharmaceutical company Mylan, which has increased the price of an EpiPen for diabetes patients by 500% since acquiring its rights in 2007, making it unaffordable to many patients.
Woodford IM said its Equity Income fund's top two holdings, AstraZeneca (8.9%) and GlaxoSmithKline (8.1%), saw a share price decline following the comments, while two top ten holdings in the Patient Capital trust, Prothena (14.9%) and Alkermed (3.7%), were also hit.
However, Woodford IM said it remains confident in the long-term prospects of these holdings: "As we have noted before, we do not believe that Clinton's rhetoric undermines our investment case for investing in genuinely innovative companies within the sector and, although we do have some sympathy with her concerns about instances of egregious pricing behaviour within the industry, they are not widespread."
Top performing stocks in the Patient Capital trust for August included Theravance Biopharma, which reported a number of developments in its product pipeline in its half-year results, and Norwegian technology company Thin Film Electronics, which also delivered positive results.
Meanwhile, Provident Financial was the largest contributor to performance in the Equity Income fund after being hit in the wake of June's Brexit vote, while holdings such as Capita, Babcock, and Legal & General also boosted performance.
Despite positive returns, Woodford said August was a "rather quiet" month for global equity markets, with trading volumes lower than usual and a lack of fundamental drivers for markets.
"Nevertheless, we believe that the UK stock market should deliver low to mid-single digit returns from here, which although lower than recent history, is attractive when compared to what's on offer from other asset classes," it said.
"It is difficult to argue that the market is cheap, but there are still some tremendously attractive investment opportunities and the portfolio has evolved to exploit these."
According to FE, the Wooford Equity Income fund has returned 8.6% over one year to 19 September, broadly in line with the IA Equity Income average of 8.3%.
Meanwhile, the Patient Capital trust is down 13.7% over one year versus the AIC UK All Companies sector average of 2.1%
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