Bristol-Myers Not Done Climbing

Tickers in this article: AZN BMY JNJ MRK

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's always interesting to see how health care investors live in perpetual fear of the long-term health of their companies. This is regardless of whether the signs of slowing growth have emerged.

While some companies can provoke this terror by under-investing in their product pipelines, which is essentially their lifeblood, others look to offset this fear with extensive cost-cutting measures (if they care to impress the Street). Even with the recent patent expiration of its drug Plavix, these have never been glowing issues for Bristol-Myers Squibb , whose stock is up more than 50% year-to-date.

In that regard, I don't believe the company's management has gotten the credit they rightfully deserve. Not only does Bristol-Myers continue to invest in growth opportunities, but the company has consistently taken the best punches from giants like Johnson & Johnson , who recently brought to market Xarelto to compete with Bristol-Myers' new blockbuster drug Eliquis, an anticoagulant for preventing blood clots.

The question now: To what extent management can sustain this incredible run? As I've said, not only has the stock shot up more than 50% on the year, but even since the company picked off its partner ZymoGenetics three years ago for $9.75 per share in cash, shares of Bristol-Myers have soared more than 110%. As expected, bears have gotten anxious and have raised caution flags, while citing things like "valuation exuberance."