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4/14/2011 12:01:01 AM
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.