Healthcare Business

UBS Makes Big Changes to Quality Growth at a Reasonable Price Portfolio

As we trudge through the dog days of August toward the traditional end-of-summer market slowdown, many of the firms we cover on Wall Street are making changes to their top portfolios, getting ready for the fall pickup in trading and volume. A new research report from UBS makes an interesting switch in the Quality Growth At a Reasonable Price (Q-GARP) portfolio.

The Q-GARP portfolio has returned an outstanding total return of a 131.6% since inception in 2007, versus the S&P 500 total return of 62.4%. The portfolio has beaten the S&P 500 by 69.2% and continues to make sense for investors looking for solid growth ideas but looking to stay away from momentum darlings.

We tracked the new changes and also looked at the health care companies in the portfolio, as that is the path the analysts went for the newest member.

Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ: MYL) was added to the portfolio and is actually making a return, having been removed in May over concerns that Mylan would successfully avoid Teva Pharmaceutical’s proposed takeover offer and, in turn, Mylan’s valuation would suffer. In fact, Teva withdrew its offer and Mylan shares have subsequently declined by roughly 20%. The UBS team thinks this makes for a compelling opportunity. The shares closed Monday at $57.53.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) was removed from the Q-GARP list after a long residence in the portfolio, and it probably comes as little surprise to anybody who has followed the stock. With the semiconductor business losing altitude, earnings are declining and the company’s earnings growth outlook has become more uncertain. The UBS team concedes the stock is cheap, but it does not hit the requirements to remain in the portfolio. The stock closed Monday at $63.15.

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Here are three health care stocks in the portfolio that make good sense for long-term growth investors looking to add sector holdings to portfolios.

Allergan PLC (NYSE: AGN) has been a strong Q-GARP portfolio holding. It recently made a huge splash when it sold its generics portfolio to Teva for a whopping $40.5 billion. Allergan markets a portfolio of best-in-class products that provide valuable treatments for the central nervous system, eye care, medical aesthetics, and more, and it operates the world’s third-largest global generics business. Allergan is an industry leader in research and development, with one of the broadest development pipelines in the pharmaceutical industry and a leading position in the submission of generic product applications globally.

The UBS price target for Allergan stock is $365, and the Thomson/Reuters consensus target is $375.71. The stock closed Monday at $321.91.

McKesson Corp. (NYSE: MCK) is the largest U.S. drug distributor and is also health care services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of health care run better. It partners with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers improve their financial, operational and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, health care information technology and business and clinical services.

McKesson investors are paid a small 0.52% dividend. The UBS price target is $265, and the consensus target is $259.76. Shares closed Monday at $217.34.

Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT) is now based in Ireland after the gigantic merger with Covidien, which many on Wall Street see as historic, probably one of the largest in the medtech industry. The merger led to the creation of a unique company that combines the extensive and innovative abilities of both Medtronic and Covidien. It has over 85,000 employees in more than 160 countries and annual revenues of $27.4 billion in 2014. Medtronic’s three fundamental strategies are therapy innovation, globalization and economic value.

Medtronic investors are paid a 1.96% dividend. The UBS price target is $90, but the consensus is lower at $87.03. Shares closed Monday at $77.62.

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There is every reason to expect that the Q-GARP portfolio continues its winning ways for the rest of 2015. The portfolio is blowing away the S&P 500 this year, and for patient, long-term growth investors it should continue to shine.