7 Ailing Health Care Stocks to Sell


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The current bull market just doesn't seem to want to stop. Despite geopolitical tensions, inflation, rising oil prices, and a myriad of other problems facing the market and the economy, stocks keep rising. And more positive earnings news this season should keep stocks heading in the right direction.

Now, they say a rising tide floats all boats, but that's not entirely true. Those with severe structural damage may end up sinking no matter how high the water rises. And that is exactly what is happening in the health care sector. Most health care stocks have logged impressive gains so far in 2011, but there are some big-name health care stocks that can barely seem to break even. And investors would be wise to trim this dead weight from their portfolios.

Here are seven health care stocks to sell:

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Provider of consumer health care products Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) is the first overweight health care stock to sell. Despite recent gains, JNJ has barely broken even in the past 12 months, compared to a gain of almost 15% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. And year-over-year quarterly earnings growth of -23% isn't persuading potential investors either.

Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK)

Global health care company Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK ) is up less than 2% in the past 12 months. And the stock has declined 1% since the start of 2011, while the market has rallied substantially.

Zimmer Holdings Inc. (ZMH)

Designer, developer, manufacturer and marketer of orthopedic, reconstructive, spinal and trauma devices, dental implants and related surgical products, Zimmer Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZMH ), posted terrible quarterly earnings growth of -77.5% in its last income statement. And the stock has only managed to squeak out a mere 2% gain in the past 12 months.

Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX)

Medical device developer and manufacturer Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX ) has experienced a stock decline of 4% since the start of 2011. For fiscal year 2010, BSX posted a net profit margin of -14%. Finally, quarterly revenue growth of -4% in its last income statement is just another bad sign for potential investors in this health care stock.

Amgen Inc. (AMGN)

Year to date, Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN ) is up a measly 2%. And this biotechnology company has lost 3% in the past 12 months. More importantly, with year-over-year quarterly earnings growth of -4%, and with analysts projecting an 8-cent drop for EPS compared to this quarter last year, investors would be wise to avoid this health care stock.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD)

Biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD ) has declined 2% in the past 12 months. In its last income statement, GILD reported quarterly revenue growth of -8%, as well as quarterly earnings growth of -24%. The only thing investors should do with GILD is sell.

Celgene Corp. (CELG)

Rounding out the list of health care stocks to sell is biopharmaceutical company Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG ). Over the past 12 months, CELG has declined 1%, compared to gains by the broader markets. And it is down almost 2% year to date. Finally, quarterly earnings growth of -18%, year over year, is another reason to avoid this stock.

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
More Headlines for: AMGN , BSX , JNJ , MRK , ZMH

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Louis Navellier

Louis Navellier

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