Market Overview

Top Performing Health Care Stocks in January

Here's a quick look at some of the top performing health care stocks, year to date. These stocks all have a market cap of more than $1 billion and all pay a dividend.

Baxter International (NYSE: BAX) is more than 11% higher than a month ago, and more than 17% higher than a year ago. The company just reported better-than-expected Q4 results and announced FDA approval of its fibrin sealant. This diversified health care company has a market cap of $31.3 billion and a dividend yield of 2.4%. The P/E ratio is less than the industry average. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed Becton, Dickinson (NYSE: BDX) and Thermo Fisher (NYSE: TMO).

Covidien (NYSE: COV) is almost 15% higher than a month ago and less than 10% below the 52-week high. The medical technology company just posted EPS that were better than expected, but also lowered its sales forecast for the fiscal year. This $24.9 billion market cap company has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Its P/E ratio is less than the industry average. The stock has outperformed competitors Becton, Dickinson and CR Bard (NYSE: BCR) over the past six months.

See also: Clinical Data for DURABILITY II Study Presented at ISET 2012.

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (NYSE: RDY) is up more than 16% from a month ago, but still down almost 4% from a year ago. This India-based pharmaceutical company has a dividend yield of 0.8% and a market cap of $5.8 billion. The long-range EPS growth forecast is 22.9% and the return on equity is 25.3%. The P/E ratio is less than the industry average but so is the operating margin. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed competitor Teva Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: TEVA).

Mindray Medical International (NYSE: MR) shares are trading about 16% higher year to date and less than 5% below the 52-week high. The Chinese medical device maker recently said it plans to launch 7 to 10 new products for 2012. It has a dividend yield of 1.0%, the long-term EPS growth forecast is 15.9% and the operating margin is better than the industry average. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed competitors Baxter and Covidien.

PerkinElmer (NYSE: PKI) is up more than 20% since the beginning of the year, but still about 5% lower than a year ago. The company is expected to post double-digit EPS and revenue growth when it reports quarterly results on February 2. Based in Waltham, Mass., the company has a market cap of $2.7 billion, a dividend yield of 1.2% and a long-term EPS growth forecast of 14.3%. The stock has outperformed competitors such as Thermo Fisher over the past six months.

St. Jude Medical (NYSE: STJ) is more than 21% higher year to date, up more than 8% just in the past week. The medical device maker recently posted better-than-expected quarterly results, prompting at least one analyst upgrade. St. Jude has a market cap of $13.3 billion and its dividend yield is 2.0%. The return on equity is 19.5% and the long-term EPS growth forecast is 12.4%. The stock has outperformed competitor Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) over the past six months.

See also: Goldman Sachs Raises Target to $40 on St. Jude Medical.

Zimmer Holdings (NYSE: ZMH) shares are trading almost 14% higher year to date, after an more than 7% bump in the past week when it beat earnings estimates and offered a better-than-expected profit forecast. The Indiana-based medical device maker has a market cap of $10.9 billion, a long-term EPS growth forecast of 9.6% and a dividend yield of 1.2%. Over the past six months, the stock's performance has been in line with fellow medical device maker Stryker (NYSE: SYK).

See also: Piper Jaffray Upgrades Zimmer Holdings from Neutral to Overweight.

ACTION ITEMS:

Bullish: Investors interested in exchange traded funds focused on health care might want to consider the following trades:

  • iShares Dow Jones US Medical Devices (NYSE: IHI) is more than 8% higher year to date.
  • ProShares Ultra Health Care (NYSE: RXL) is more than 7% higher year to date.
  • SPDR S&P Health Care Equipment (NYSE: XHE) is about 7% higher year to date.
  • Rydex S&P Equal Weight Health Care (NYSE: RYH) is more than 6% higher year to date.
Bearish:

Traders may prefer to consider these alternative positions:

  • ProShares UltraShort Health Care (NYSE: RXD) is trading near the 52-week low.
  • Direxion Daily Healthcare Bear 3X Shares (NYSE: SICK) is trading near the 52-week low.
Neither Benzinga nor its staff recommend that you buy, sell, or hold any security. We do not offer investment advice, personalized or otherwise. Benzinga recommends that you conduct your own due diligence and consult a certified financial professional for personalized advice about your financial situation.

Posted-In: Baxter International becton dickinson boston scientificLong Ideas Sector ETFs Short Ideas Trading Ideas ETFs Best of Benzinga

 

Related Articles (BAX + BCR)

Around the Web, We're Loving...

Get Benzinga's Newsletters

Benzinga Professional