3 Hale & Hearty Stocks for World Health Day - Analyst Blog

Staying healthy is quite a challenge today. From lifestyle to chronic diseases, the alarmingly high rate of health risks has medical researchers to practitioners all over the world on their toes.

Pressing health issues such as diabetes, avian flu, cancer, obesity, malnutrition, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, the Ebola outbreak and swine flu have spread gloom and doom. Thankfully, some trusted companies in the health and food sectors are trying to address these grave issues.

On World Health Day, which has chosen to go the "Safety" route this year, let's take a look at how these companies are trying to put a check on unhealthy practices, launch healthier variants or even enter the health market. Plus, these have consistently impressed with their healthy endeavors and are in the pink of financial health too.

3 Stocks for a Healthy Portfolio

Tyson Foods, Inc.TSN

Taking note of the growing cries against the usage of antibiotics in food products , this producer, distributor and marketer of chicken, beef, pork, prepared foods and related products - has cut down on the use of important antibiotics in chicken by 84% since 2011. In 2013, it launched the 100% antibiotic-free Nature Raised Farms brand. The company is also testing ways of using alternatives to antibiotics in its chicken farms.

This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock has lately been firing on all cylinders and ramped up the production of chicken taking into account the health consciousness from red meat to low-calorie chicken and processed chicken. The company is improving its poultry facilities and has announced an expansion plan valued at over $110 million for its Georgia poultry plant.

Interestingly, Tyson Foods launched a KNOW Hunger campaign in early 2011 against food insecurity in the U.S. amid rising awareness on the need to eradicate malnutrition. In its bid to take nutrition to every table, Tyson Foods has teamed up with key hunger relief organizations like Share Our Strength/No Kid Hunger, Feeding America, and the Food Research and Action Center.

Still, rising cases of avian flu is a threat to the stock. Yet Tyson Foods has maintained a decent 2.16% average earnings surprise. Also, the company's latest activities have won analysts' appreciation, as evident from the 3.6% upward revision in the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the next fiscal over the last 60-day frame.

Apple Inc.AAPL

All work and no play is the reality today. However, health concerns and novel ways of staying fit are flooding the markets. Big names like Samsung Electronics SSNLF and Microsoft MSFT have jumped on the fitness bandwagon. Apple too has ventured into the fitness landscape.

Though the company primarily designs, manufactures and markets mobile communication and media devices, it recently launched a comprehensive health and fitness companion - a smartwatch - which doubles up as a health device that tracks heartbeat, counts calories and also functions as an activity meter. Meanwhile, its peer Samsung unveiled Galaxy S5 with a built-in heart rate sensor under its own second generation fitness brand of smart wearables - the Gear Fit.

Apple, carrying a Zacks Rank #1, should now keep the doctor away. The company is going great guns and currently has a long-term growth rate of 14%.


This molecular diagnostics company is trying to tread the growth path. The company recently formed a partnership with major pharmaceutical names like AstraZeneca AZN and GlaxoSmithKline GSK to revolutionize infectious disease therapy through the development of a rapid diagnostic test that can target multi-drug resistant bacteria and support the proper use of antibiotics . But will this alone clear a path through the forests for the company? Probably not.

Though the company's mention in this list may raise some eyebrows, a lot has been looking up for Cepheid lately. It received the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for expanded claims on its Xpert MTB/RIF assay - an on-demand molecular test used for fast and accurate diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB).

Also, in a separate development, Cepheid, together with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics ("FIND") reported the receipt of CE-IVD status for its in vitro diagnostic test Xpert HIV-1 Viral Load, in Europe.

Following the series of positive tidings at Cepheid, its Xpert Ebola Assay - to detect the presence of Ebola Zaire Virus in blood in just two hours - has been recently granted the Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA .

Though a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), Cepheid boasts a strong average earnings surprise of 48% and its long-term growth rate is pegged at a healthy 21.30% compared to the industry's 17.90%.

Investment Diet

For investors who want a greener portfolio, the health of these stocks should be appealing. In addition to financial health, analysts' confidence in earnings potential of these stocks should give a boost to their share prices.

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ASTRAZENECA PLC (AZN): Free Stock Analysis Report

APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report

MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report

CEPHEID INC (CPHD): Free Stock Analysis Report

TYSON FOODS A (TSN): Free Stock Analysis Report

GLAXOSMITHKLINE (GSK): Free Stock Analysis Report


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

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

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