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6 MedTech Stocks Set to Crush the Market in 2018

"America has the best doctors, the best nurses, the best hospitals, the best medical technology, the best medical breakthrough medicines in the world." - Rep. Bill Frist

In terms of market size, the U.S. health care market is the largest in the world. A report by Health Access suggests that America's unparalleled purchasing power, massive demand for medical services and equipment, and opportunity for innovation has lent it a competitive edge.

Further, the markets got a boost after President Donald Trump - an ardent proponent of "living big, living large" - came into power. His constant efforts to boost American lifestyle, focus on middle class and incorporate the best health care in America have been creating a stir.

Trump's efforts to eliminate the country's jobless stature are remarkable. Per reports, the U.S. unemployment rate was pegged at 4.1% in November, the lowest since February 2001. Undoubtedly, Trump's "America first!" pitch has been driving employment growth like never before.

Four Factors to Drive MedTech in 2018

Increasing Consolidation in Healthcare

The latest trend of increasing consolidation in the healthcare space has led to a reduction in the number of players, greater market concentration and reduced competition as well as increasing barriers of entry in the industry. The companies will benefit from higher market cap, which will put them in a position to negotiate with suppliers and consumers.

The recent $69-billion deal between Aetna Inc.AET and CVS HealthCVS is a significant example. It qualifies as vertical integration, which will enable the newly formed entity to sell a range of services and products from drug to insurance cover.

President Trump's Focus on Emerging Markets

Per a recent BCG report, the share of emerging market revenues, which is less than a quarter of MedTech's global revenues, is likely to increase to nearly one-third by 2022.Thus, the United States' trade plans with emerging countries are likely to favor the domestic companies.

In this regard, investors may find President Trump's 12-day Asia trip last month interesting. The visit was aimed at boosting inter-country trade relations, particularly with the emerging nations. Trump's promise to augment bilateral trade agreements with Indo-Pacific nations instills our confidence in his APAC policies. He also emphasized " free and open Indo-Pacific trade " with a focus on the nations of Japan, Australia and India.

IVD & PBM Markets to Thrive

A research report by EvaluateMedTech World Preview indicates that global MedTech sales are expected to witness a CAGR of 5.1% to $522 billion by 2022, with IVD (in Vitro diagnosis) raking in annual sales of $69.6 billion at a CAGR of 5.9%. Increasing investments from government and private players in the form of reimbursement coverage and speedy patent approvals are driving demand.

The role of pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) in the U.S. healthcare sector has been evolving. PBMs manage pharmaceutical spending and enhance health benefits for end users. Per a report by Market Research Reports.biz, the global PBM market will see a CAGR of 7.16% between 2014 and 2019. Investing in PBM stocks can be a prudent move for registering solid gains in 2018. Looking for the Best Stocks for 2018? Be among the first to see our Top Ten Stocks for 2018 portfolio here .

Robot-based Applications to Boost MedTech

The AI-based applications have been enhancing the healthcare space with clinical applications, diagnostic support, operational efficiency, Electronic Health Record systems, practice workflows and supply chain management. The growing prevalence of minimally-invasive robot-assisted surgeries, self-automated home-based care, use of IT for quick and improved patient care and shift of the payment system to a value-based model.

For example, MedTech major Intuitive Surgical designs, manufactures and markets the da Vinci surgical system - an advanced robot-assisted surgical platform. This AI platform enables minimally-invasive surgery that helps avoid the trauma associated with open surgery. The company plans to expand the usage of da Vinci in general and thoracic surgery, colorectal surgery and hernia repair in the days to come.

Picking the Right Stocks

Based on certain parameters, we have selected six MedTech growth stocks which are poised for impressive returns in 2017. These stocks carry a solid Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) along with a Growth Style Score of A or B.

We note that our Growth Style Score encompasses all the essential metrics from a company's financial statements to get a true sense of the quality and sustainability of growth. Our research shows that stocks with Growth Style Scores of 'A' or 'B' when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 offer the best investment opportunities in the growth investing space.

6 Growth Picks

Chemed Corp.CHE : The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Growth score of A. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Chemed's sales is pegged at $1.73 billion for the next year, reflecting growth of 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. The stock has a market cap of $3.75 billion and a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 10%.

Chemed's raised guidance banking on Roto-Rooter business strength buoys optimism at the moment. Roto-Rooter is currently the nation's leading provider of plumbing and drain cleaning services. Through its network of company-owned branches, independent contractors and franchises, Roto-Rooter offers plumbing and drain cleaning services to over 90% of the U.S. population.

Chemed Corp. Price and Consensus

Chemed Corp. Price and Consensus | Chemed Corp. Quote

athenahealth Inc ( ATHN ): The stock flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 and a Growth Score of B. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for athenahealth's sales is pegged at $1.36 billion for 2018, signifying growth of 11.7% on a year-over-year basis. The stock has a market cap of $5.35 billion and a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 22.3% at the moment.

athenahealth's strong product portfolio, solid network expansion strategies and unique business model are key tailwinds. athenahealth's portfolio comprises a wide array of products that include electronic health records, revenue cycle management, medical billing, patient engagement, care coordination, population health management and Epocrates. Notably, the company launched athenaInsight, an online news hub reporting on U.S. healthcare activities and trends of healthcare providers and "de-identified patients."

athenahealth, Inc. Price and Consensus

athenahealth, Inc. Price and Consensus | athenahealth, Inc. Quote

Align Technology Inc. ( ALGN ): The stock has a Zacks Rank #1 and a Growth score of B. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Align Technology's sales is pegged at $1.79 billion for next year, signifying growth of 23.5% on a year-over-year basis in 2018. The stock has a market cap of $18.75 billion and a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 28.9% now.

Align Technology's consistent efforts to boost product development, balanced growth across all channels and the focus in international markets bolster our confidence in the stock. We are encouraged by the company's strong InvisAlign Technology prospects and growth in North America and international regions. We are also upbeat about the company signing of a distribution agreement with Patterson Companies recently.

Align Technology, Inc. Price and Consensus

Align Technology, Inc. Price and Consensus | Align Technology, Inc. Quote

IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. ( IDXX ): The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Growth Score of B. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for IDEXX Laboratories' sales pegs at $2.16 billion for the next year, reflecting growth of 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. The stock has a market cap of $18.75 billion and a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 20.4%.

IDEXX Laboratories continues to depict solid growth globally on strong international expansion. Management's innovation-based global strategy is leading to CAG Diagnostics growth. Notably, IDEXX widened cloud technology portfolio by adding rVetLink. Solid organic revenue growth along with a raised guidance for 2017 buoy optimism.

IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. Price and Consensus

IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. Price and Consensus | IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. Quote

Straumann Holding AG ( SAUHF ): The stock has a Zacks Rank #1 and a Growth score of B. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Straumann Holding's sales pegs at $2.16 billion for the next year, signifying growth of 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. The stock has a market cap of $11.21 billion and a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 15% now. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Straumann Holding is a global leader in implant and restorative dentistry and oral tissue regeneration. The company collaborates with leading clinics, research institutes and universities to research, develop and manufacture dental implants, instruments, prosthetics and tissue regeneration products for use in tooth replacement and restoration solutions or prevent tooth loss.

Straumann Holding AG Price and Consensus

Straumann Holding AG Price and Consensus | Straumann Holding AG Quote

PRA Health Sciences, Inc. ( PRAH ): The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Growth Score of B. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Straumann Holding's sales is pegged at $2.34 billion for the next year, signifying growth of 21.5% on a year-over-year basis. The stock has a market cap of $5.65 billion and a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 18.1% now.

The company operates as a global contract research organization providing outsourced clinical development services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. It offers therapeutic services in the areas of cardio-metabolic, biosimilars, infectious diseases, immunology, neurology and psychiatry, oncology and hematology, rare diseases and respiratory needs.

PRA Health Sciences, Inc. Price and Consensus

PRA Health Sciences, Inc. Price and Consensus | PRA Health Sciences, Inc. Quote

5 Medical Stocks to Buy Now

Zacks names 5 companies poised to ride a medical breakthrough that is targeting cures for leukemia, AIDS, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, and other conditions.

New products in this field are already generating substantial revenue and even more wondrous treatments are in the pipeline. Early investors could realize exceptional profits.

Click here to see the 5 stocks >>

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athenahealth, Inc. (ATHN): Free Stock Analysis Report

IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (IDXX): Free Stock Analysis Report

Aetna Inc. (AET): Free Stock Analysis Report

Chemed Corp. (CHE): Free Stock Analysis Report

Align Technology, Inc. (ALGN): Free Stock Analysis Report

Straumann Holding AG (SAUHF): Free Stock Analysis Report

CVS Health Corporation (CVS): Free Stock Analysis Report

PRA Health Sciences, Inc. (PRAH): 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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