10 Health Care Stocks That Have Flatlined

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Last year was a difficult one for health care stocks, partially due to investors' concerns over the federal health care debate. But 2011 is shaping up to be a whole different story for health care stocks. The sector has outpaced the S&P 500, up 6.3% in the first quarter compared to 4.2% for the broad market index.

But this does not mean all health care stocks are a good investment right now. In fact, some very established, well-known names have been underperforming the sector, as well as the overall market. Most have declined significantly in the past 12 months, and they have fallen as much as 7% year-to-date.

There's simply no room in your portfolio for this kind of lackluster performance, so check out our list of health care stocks to sell.

Health Care Stock to Sell #1 Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Known around the world for its range of brand-name consumer health care products, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) is also starting to become known for its poor stock performance. In the past year, shares of JNJ are down almost 9%, and year-to-date, the big pharma stock is off more than 4%. The company's quarterly earnings growth was down 12% year-over-year in its last income statement.

Health Care Stock to Sell #2 Merck & Co (MRK)

Year-to-date, Merck & Co Inc. (NYSE: MRK ) has shown lackluster performance, falling 7%. In the past 12 months, the company known for its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health and consumer care products, has watched its stock decline almost 9%, compared to an 11%-plus gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Health Care Stock to Sell #3 Sanofi-Aventis (SNY)

Researcher, developer, manufacturer and marketer of health care products, Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE: SNY ), is another pharmacy stock having a rough year. Over the past 12 months, SNY stock has dropped 1%, compared to gains by the broader markets. More alarming is SNY's quarterly earnings growth, which was reported as -67% in its last income statement.

Health Care Stock to Sell #4 Abbott Laboratories (ABT)

Since reaching a high in mid-October, Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT ) has experienced a slip in stock price of 4%. Known for discovering, developing, manufacturing and selling health care products, ABT just posted a quarterly earnings growth of -6% in its most recent income statement.

Health Care Stock to Sell #5 Amgen (AMGN)

Independent biotechnology company Amgen Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AMGN ) shares have slid 1% since the start of 2011, and are down 10% in the past 12 months. It appears this former high-flier's days of rapid growth are behind it. The stock is down some 20% from where it was trading five years ago. During the same period, the SPDR S&P Biotech (NYSE: XBI ) has risen more than 40%.

Health Care Stock to Sell #6 Teva Pharmaceutical

Next on the list is generic drug developer Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NASDAQ: TEVA ). TEVA has had an awful year, and is down 22% since last April. More recently, this stock lost 6% over the past four months. TEVA is trading just above its 52-week low of $46.99.

Health Care Stock to Sell #7 Medtronic (MDT)

Founded in 1957, medical technology company Medtronic Inc. (NYSE: MDT ) has left shareholders with a bad taste in their mouths. In the last year, this big pharma stock has watched its stock value decrease 11%, compared to gains by the broader markets. Since the middle of February, MDT is down 2%.

Health Care Stock to Sell #8 Gilead Sciences (GILD)

After one look at Gilead Sciences Inc.'s (NASDAQ: GILD ) income statement, investors should be selling this stock. Last quarter, the biopharmaceutical company, which focuses on the development and commercialization of human therapeutics for life threatening diseases, reported a quarterly revenue growth of -2% and a quarterly earnings growth of -22%. A drop in stock price of almost 5.5% in the past year doesn't bode well either.

Health Care Stock to Sell #9 Baxter International (BAX)

Global diversified health care company Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX ) has slipped 7% in the last 52 weeks. Not helping matters, BAX posted net earnings growth of -26% in its last income statement.

Health Care Stock to Sell #10 Celgene (CELG)

Finishing off the list is Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG ), which is known for discovering, developing and commercializing therapies for cancer and immune-inflammatory-related diseases. In the past 12 months, CELG has dropped 8%. More recently, CELG is down 6% year-to-date, and the company reported a quarterly earnings growth of -18% in its last income statement.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: ABT , AMGN , JNJ , MRK , SNY

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Louis Navellier

Louis Navellier

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