Top Health Care Stocks
Health care stocks were mostly higher Friday, including a more than 0.8% gain for the NYSE Health Care Index in recent trading. Shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were up over 0.7% as a group although the Nasdaq Biotechnology index was slipping just over 0.1%.
Among health care stocks moving on news:
+ Patterson Companies ( PDCO ) shares were nearly 7% higher Friday afternoon, staying within close range of their session high, after analysts at RBC Capital Markets raised their price target for the dental and veterinary supplies company by $2 to $26 a share while reiterating their Sector Perform investment recommendation for the company's stock. The move follows the company Thursday reporting fiscal Q4 financial results matching Wall Street expectations and also issuing an in-line FY19 outlook. In a new research note to clients, RBC cited signs of "stability" at Patterson, primarily in its animal health division, but added it would "like to see better results in dental before we consider becoming more positive on shares at this valuation."
In other sector news:
+ Medtronic ( MDT ) rose over 1% on Friday after the medical device conglomerate declared a 9% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.50 per share, up from $0.46 per share previously. The upcoming dividend is payable July 25 to shareholders of record on July 6. The company said the higher dividend reflects its commitment to returning at least 50% of its free cash flow to investors through dividends and stock buybacks.
- Rocket Pharmaceuticals ( RCKT ) was drifting lower Friday, falling almost 2% in recent trading and the gene therapy company was receiving no apparent boost from its addition to the broad-market Russell 3000 and Russell 2000 indices, effective with the start of trading on Monday, June 25. Membership in the Russell 3000 Index, which remains in place for one year, means automatic inclusion in the large-cap Russell 1000 Index or small-cap Russell 2000 Index.