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.
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.
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).
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.
Traders may prefer to consider these alternative positions:
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