Healthcare Business

5 Health Care Stocks That Need to Play Serious Catch Up

Biogen Idec
> Share price: $299.10
> 52-week range: $245.31–$358.89
> Past month performance: -6%

Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was hurt during the market sell-off in mid-October and made a small recovery before falling off again in mid-November. The reaction was tied to earnings and drug sales. One issue that always seems to arise with Biogen Idec is new potential competition for its multiple sclerosis leadership position.

Investors have to keep in mind that Biogen Idec was a $50 stock back in 2010 and a $150 stock at the start of 2015. Now it is near $300. Analysts have a consensus price target of closer to $370, and the highest analyst price target is well above $400.

Universal Health Services
> Share price: $103.06
> 52-week range: $73.06–$115.64
> Past month performance: -3%

Universal Health Services Inc. (NYSE: UHS) made a solid recovery following the market sell-off in mid-October, but this was short-lived as shares plummeted back to levels not seen since July. The company met its quarterly earnings reported in late October, but it seems to be pushed down as part of a larger trend. Just like Tenet, it was a winner because it owns hospitals and they won under Obamacare. That means they have some of the same risks as peers.

Keep in mind that Universal Health was a $50 stock at the start of 2013. With shares close to $103, the stock’s consensus analyst price target is almost $125 and the highest analyst target price is $135.

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Gilead Sciences
> Share price: $100.59
> 52-week range: $63.50–$116.83
> Past month performance: -5%

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) sold off with the markets from September to early October, and then ran higher with the markets through the end of October — only to fall out of bed again. Some concerns remain over its Sovaldi and hepatitis C treatment costs being astronomical in the United States ($80K and $90K) but being offered internationally at a few thousand dollars under generic deals. Its earnings report on October 28 helped to act as a peak for the stock. Still, even with a gain of 34% so far in 2014, it was not in the top 10 health care stocks in the S&P 500. Another issue was big insider selling at Gilead.

To show what a monster Gilead has been, it was a $25 stock as recently as mid-2012, and now it the largest biotech around with a market cap of $151 billion. The stock price is just over $100, and the consensus analyst target is above $122. Gilead’s highest analyst price target is all the way up at $170.

DaVita Healthcare
> Share price: $75.13
> 52-week range: $56.18–$78.52
> Past month performance: -0.5%

DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (NYSE: DVA) was effectively flat for the past month, but it is still up almost 30% so far in 2014. Being the dialysis leader has worked rather well under Obamacare, as dialysis is one of the highest cost items that drive up health care costs. The company was not hit too hard during the September to October period, but the stock screamed higher to $78 by the end of October.

Shares sold off after earnings in early November and have tried to find their footing again with shares around $75. The consensus analyst price target is only up at $76.58, and the highest analyst price target is $86. What is interesting here is that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has again acquired more shares, and more recently than the September 30 cutoff date from the last full holdings filing.

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