It's safe to say that the healthcare industry is one of the most intriguing sectors for investors to look into. After all, a worldwide pandemic has underscored just how vital quality medical care is. Healthcare expenditure in the United States accounted for almost 19.7% of the country's GDP in 2020, and it is projected to grow even more over the next decade. Naturally, there will be a lot of firms that are able to profit from this rise, which is why healthcare is an appealing investment prospect at any time, even during a period of elevated market volatility.
If January is any indication of how the year will go in the markets, and if investors pay attention to a sector like healthcare given how much money the industry will always spend, regardless of economic conditions, they may be in for some really good buying possibilities by 2022.
Here are 3 great healthcare stocks to consider now.
McKesson Corp (NYSE: MCK)
Look no farther than McKesson Corp stock for one of the strongest equities in the market. The stock has been roughly flat year to date, as major indices have taken a beating, suggesting that it is displaying a high level of relative strength. McKesson is the largest pharmaceuticals supplier in the United States, and it also distributes medical-surgical supplies, a unique business model that is expected to produce double-digit adjusted EPS growth over time. The company's pharmaceutical sales should rise in 2022 as a result of higher prescription volumes as visits to primary care physicians return to normal following the pandemic.
Management at McKesson boosted its forward guidance for FY22 in last quarter, as well as delivering total revenues of $66.6 billion in Q2, up 9% year-over-year, which are both indicators of a healthy business. The bottom line is that McKesson stock is a powerful player in the pharmaceutical sector with significant long-term potential, and the fact that the stock's price has barely been dented by recent market volatility demonstrates how good this firm is.
HCA Healthcare Inc (NYSE: HCA)
HCA Healthcare has earned a reputation for being an under-appreciated healthcare company that has emerged from the pandemic as a more efficient business, which is why it should be on your buying list now. HCA Healthcare has the biggest market share in several of the country's most important regions, including Texas and Florida, as one of the nation's major hospital corporations. The company has prioritized lowering costs for the last several years, which is a strategy that will pay off in the long run thanks to improved margins. There's also a good possibility HCA will profit from a resurgence in elective procedures in the future, which is another good reason to buy shares.
HCA Healthcare, Inc. (HCA) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $4.57 per share, up from $1.92 in 2020, on revenue of $15.3 billion, up 15% year over year in October. On January 27th, the firm will announce its Q4 results and could be getting ready for another strong report, so keep an eye on the market's response to those figures towards the end of the month. With the stock approaching closer to testing the 200-day moving average, investors may take notice of the recent slump in this leading health care services firm as a great opportunity to acquire stock.
Merck & Co (NYSE: MRK)
If you're looking for a biopharmaceutical firm that pays an excellent dividend, Merck & Co is a good choice. The firm's best-known medicines are cancer and diabetes therapies, whereas Merck also develops vaccines and animal health medications, completing a diversified product line. The antiviral drug Molnupiravir produced by the company, has been given emergency usage authorization for the treatment of moderate to severe coronavirus illness and will be worth watching if it becomes a major success.
Merck has also announced a deal to buy Acceleron, a biotech firm that develops therapies for severe and rare diseases. This acquisition is a win for Merck. It boosts the company's pipeline of new medicines and cardiovascular disease therapy line, making it a good thing for long-term investors. Finally, it's worth noting that the firm has recently delivered outstanding earnings, with Q3 adjusted EPS of $1.75, up 28% year over year. Finally, Merck stock's 3.42 percent dividend yield makes it a strong selection in the sector.