Here's Why You Should Sell Cardinal Health (CAH) Stock Now

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Cardinal Health Inc CAH underperformed its industry in a year's time. The company's shares have lost 28.6%, comparing unfavorably with the industry's increase of 6.4%. The current return is also lower than the S&P 500 index's rise of 13.1%.

Recently, Cardinal Health has been facing sluggishness in the exam-gloves unit. Further, cutthroat competition in the niche space is a headwind.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 bottom line declined9.2% in the last two months to $4.92. This shows a year-over-year decline of 8.9%. For the current quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the bottom linedeclined 29.5% in the last two months to 93 cents. This indicates a fall of 29% on a year-over-year basis.

Cardinal Health, Inc. Price and Consensus

Cardinal Health, Inc. Price and Consensus | Cardinal Health, Inc. Quote

The stock has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Here we take a peek at the major issues plaguing Cardinal Health.

Issues in Medical-Gloves Unit

Cardinal Health offers a robust portfolio of medical gloves including surgical gloves, exam gloves and clean-room gloves. While the Medical segment has been performing well in the recent quarters, the company has been facing challenges in the exam-glove sub-segment.

In the third quarter of fiscal 2018, commodity pricing and supply disruptions have dampened the section. For fiscal 2018, lower expectations for the Medical segment due to headwinds in the exam-gloves segment is concerning. However, the company's sourcing and commercial teams are pursuing several projects to minimize the impact.

Cordis Unit Lacks Luster

Cardinal Health took over Johnson and Johnson's Cordis unit for $1.94 billion in 2015 to enhance its top-line performance. But, by the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2018, things have not been very bright for Cardinal Health, especially in the Cordis unit.

The Cordis performance not only reduced the company's adjusted operating earnings, but created a higher-than-expected adjusted effective tax rate (19 cents). Of this, Cordis-related increased tax-rate was 13 cents.

Taking this into consideration, Cardinal Health anticipates obstacles and challenges in fiscal 2019. Per management, despite prospects in the Patient Recovery in Red Oak and subsequent U.S. tax reform, the company will face significant headwinds including Cordis performance, customer repricing, the loss of PharMerica and continued generic deflation.

Consequently, Cardinal Health is not expected to achieve the 6% margin rate in the second half of fiscal 2018.

Cutthroat Competition in Niche Space

Cardinal Health faces tough competition in each of its business segments. For example, the pharmaceutical supply chain business faces competition from McKesson and AmerisourceBergen as well as several smaller medical-surgical distributors such as Henry Schein and Owens & Minor.

Moreover, the medical device market is mature whencompared with Cardinal Health's pharmaceutical business. We believe that growing competition will hurt Cardinal Health's medical segment's margins in the near term.

Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Abiomed, Inc ABMD , Genomic Health, Inc GHDX and Intuitive Surgical ISRG .

Abiomed has an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 27%. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Genomic Health has an expected earnings growth rate of 187.5%. The stock flaunts a Zacks Rank of 1.

Intuitive Surgical has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 12.1% and sports a Zacks Rank #1.

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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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