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3 High-Potential S&P 500 Healthcare Stocks Offering 30%+ Upside

Published 28/03/2024, 14:59
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  • After a sluggish 2023, 2024 looks brighter for healthcare stocks.
  • Numerous demographic and social factors also argue in favor of a long-term rise.
  • What are the best healthcare stocks to buy now?
  • Identify the best stocks and find the market's hidden gems for less than $10 with InvestingPro!
  • Healthcare stocks (NYSE:XLV) might regain their appeal for 2024 and beyond after a lackluster performance in 2023, partly due to their significant outperformance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Globally, approximately $8.3 trillion is spent on healthcare, with nearly half of that, roughly $3,800 billion, coming from the United States. Given that the healthcare sector is growing faster than the overall global economy, these figures are expected to rise substantially by the end of the decade.

    Healthcare stocks are currently benefiting from several societal and demographic trends, including an aging population, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, and epidemics like obesity and diabetes.

    Moreover, these stocks are considered defensive, meaning they tend to remain stable during market downturns. This stability is logical because healthcare needs persist regardless of economic conditions; people require medical services, pharmaceuticals, insurance, and medical devices regardless of market performance.

    Furthermore, the healthcare sector is poised for significant long-term changes, including the integration of AI in medical research, advancements in telemedicine and robotics, and the emergence of biotechnologies.

    Best healthcare stocks in the S&P 500

    Against this backdrop, we set out to find the best healthcare stocks for immediate purchase, using InvestingPro's advanced screener.

    We searched for healthcare stocks:

    • Members of the S&P 500
    • with a health score of "very good" or above
    • with a potential upside of more than 20% according to InvestingPro's Fair Value.

    Remember that Fair Value synthesizes several recognized financial models, adapted to the profile of each stock, to provide a precise objective for determining whether stocks are undervalued or overvalued. The Financial Health Score, which takes into account several financial components to assign a score to each stock, provides a key indication of its level of risk.

    Note that InvestingPro subscribers can reproduce this research on their member area, by applying the following filters on the advanced screener (The index membership filter is only available to Pro+ subscribers):

    Stock Screener

    Source : InvestingPro

    This search enabled us to identify 9 stocks: CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS), Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ:INCY), Gilead Sciences Inc (NASDAQ:GILD), Humana Inc (NYSE:HUM), UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), Viatris Inc (NASDAQ:VTRS), Cigna Corp (NYSE:CI), Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) and Cardinal Health Inc (NYSE:CAH).

    Best Healthcare stocks

    Source : InvestingPro

    Among these stocks, those with the greatest upside potential are CVS Health, Incyte Corporation and Viatris, which we'll review using the InvestingPro platform in the remainder of this article.

    1. CVS Health

    CVS Health Corporation provides healthcare solutions in the United States. It operates through the Health Care Benefits, Health Services and Pharmacy & Consumer Wellness segments, making it a diversified healthcare company.

    CVS Health's InvestingPro Fair Value, calculated by synthesizing 13 recognized valuation models, suggests a potential upside of 42.7%.

    CVS Fair Value

    Source : InvestingPro

    However, the 26 professional analysts who follow the stock are less optimistic, with an average target of $89.61, or 12.8% above Wednesday's closing price.

    As for the ProTips, which summarize the masses of financial data on each stock into an intelligible list of key strengths and weaknesses, we note that they do not identify any negative points:

    ProTips CVS

    Source : InvestingPro

    Instead, the ProTips highlight strengths such as management share buybacks, strong cash flow performance, and the fact that the company has maintained dividend payments for the past 54 years.

    2. Incyte Corporation

    Incyte Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutics in the fields of hematology/oncology, inflammation and autoimmunity in the United States and worldwide.

    According to InvestingPro Fair Value, which values the stock at $78.42, the share price could rise by 37.3% from current levels.

    Incyte Fair Value

    Source : InvestingPro

    Analysts are averaging a similar target of $76.01, which translates into a 33% upside potential.

    The ProTips confirm the quality of the stock, with no negative points:

    ProTips Incyte

    Source : InvestingPro

    Among the positives highlighted, the company's strong cash position, sufficient cash flow to cover interest payments and liquid assets that outweigh short-term obligations, or the fact that the company has been profitable over the past 12 months are among the most important.

    3. Viatris

    Viatris Inc. is a global healthcare company. The company operates in four segments: Developed Markets, Greater China, JANZ and Emerging Markets. It offers branded prescription medicines, generics, complex generics, biosimilars and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

    According to the 13 financial models synthesized to obtain the Fair Value, the share has a potential of +28.1%.

    VIatris Fair Value

    Source : InvestingPro

    However, professional analysts have set an average target of $12.17, which translates into a much more limited upside potential of 2.8%.

    In addition, the ProTips, while mostly positive, point to some areas of concern:

    ProTips Viatris

    Source : InvestingPro

    These include the fact that 3 analysts have lowered their forecasts for the next release, and the fact that the stock is trading on high multiples.

    Conclusion

    CVS Health, Incyte Corporation, and Viatris are therefore 3 healthcare companies with varied profiles and the rare advantage of combining strong bullish potential according to fair value with a solid InvestingPro health score.

    Investors interested in integrating the healthcare sector into their portfolios should therefore further investigate the opportunity to buy these 3 stocks to take a diversified position.

    ***

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    Disclaimer:This article is written for informational purposes only; it does not constitute a solicitation, offer, advice, or recommendation to invest as such it is not intended to incentivize the purchase of assets in any way. I would like to remind you that any type of asset, is evaluated from multiple points of view and is highly risky and therefore, any investment decision and the associated risk remains with the investor.

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