While the unpredictable nature of drugs development doesn't guarantee a much-awaited earnings bounce at AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN), I believe the firm's transformed product pipeline makes it a hot stock for growth candidates.
The post-Brexit stampede towards AstraZeneca ground to a shuddering halt in October, the stock shedding 8% of its value.
The Cambridge company suffered as US regulators had halted testing of its Durvalumab cancer battler due to concerns over bleeding. News that its Brilinta drug didn't demonstrate benefits compared with older cardiovascular treatment Copidogrel did the stock no favours either.
But October wasn't a complete washout on the R&D front, with AstraZeneca reporting "a clinically-meaningful and statistically-significant improvement of progression-free survival" for those using Lynparza in Phase III trials. The drug is used to treat ovarian cancer and has been identified as a potential sales driver in the years ahead.
The City expects AstraZeneca to swallow earnings dips of 4% in both 2016 and 2017. But subsequent P/E ratings of 13.5 times and 14 times represent a great level for long-term investors to latch onto the firm, in my opinion, as rising healthcare investment looks likely to power demand for the pharma giant's next generation of drugs.
On top of this, expectations that AstraZeneca will keep the dividend locked at 280 US cents per share mean it yields a stunning 4.8%. I reckon the drugs leviathan is a terrific pick at current prices.
Precious metals giant Randgold Resources (LSE: RRS) also took a share price hit last month. The stock shed 7% of its value during October, pressured by gold values sinking back below the $1,300 per ounce landmark to their cheapest since June.
Investors have traded out of the metal in recent weeks as a steady stream of upbeat US economic datasets have boosted expectations of a Federal Reserve hike. Indeed, last week's blockbuster GDP numbers will prove the precursor to Janet Yellen hitting the button as soon as December, or so say a large number of market commentators.
But while the safe-haven commodity may have lost a little of its lustre, values have stabilised around $1,270 more recently, and with good reason.
There's still plenty of tension surrounding the potential outcome of the US presidential election, not to mention the prospect of long and difficult Brexit negotiations that could send gold prices northwards again. And shiny metal values could also rise should global trade indicators continue to deteriorate in the months ahead.
Meanwhile, Randgold is laying the groundwork for stellar earnings growth in the years ahead as it increases output at its top-quality assets in the Côte d'Ivoire and Democratic Republic of Congo.
The number crunchers expect Randgold to enjoy earnings surges of 50% and 33% in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Consequent P/E ratios of 29.7 times and 22.3 times may appear toppy on paper, although PEG ratios of 0.6 times through to the close of 2017 suggest the FTSE 100 digger isn't that expensive based on its predicted earnings trajectory.
I reckon there's still plenty of fuel in the system that could send Randgold's share price rocketing higher again.
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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended AstraZeneca. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.