Should investors be watching these top healthcare stocks this week?
Over the past 2 years, healthcare stocks have been among the most important sectors in the stock market thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although daily new cases in the country have been relatively low compared to the start of the year, there are still many areas in the healthcare sector that may be of interest to investors. This is due to many other diseases that have high mortality rates and require extensive treatments. Health care companies have worked to develop treatments and therapies to treat these diseases. And those solutions, by extension, would mean profits for those healthcare companies.
Just yesterday, the FDA approved the second booster shots of the Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and Modern (NASDAQ: MRNA) Covid-19 vaccines for Americans 50 and older. Although the approval is only for people 50 and older, the approval could potentially expand to Americans 18 and older in the coming months. This can happen when health regulators find that the protection provided by the initial booster dose has diminished. Ultimately, that would mean another round of tailwinds for both companies through additional sales. And with that, here are five healthcare stocks to check out on the stock market today.
Healthcare stocks to buy [Or Sell] This week
Starting today, we have BioNTech, a biopharmaceutical company that has pioneered new therapies for cancer and other serious diseases. As a result, the company leverages a wide range of computational discovery and therapeutic drug platforms for the rapid development of new biopharmaceuticals. Based on its deep expertise in mRNA vaccine development and in-house manufacturing capabilities, the company has created one of the world’s first mRNA vaccines to treat Covid-19.
Today, the company released its fourth quarter and full year financial statements. Diving, revenue in the quarter rose more than 1,000% year-over-year to $6.16 billion on strong vaccine sales. In fact, BioNTech has sold over 2.6 billion doses of its vaccine to over 165 countries and regions around the world in 2021. This also includes over 1 billion doses to low- and middle-income countries. It also indicates that it has signed orders for the delivery in 2022 of up to 2.4 billion doses of the vaccine. Its net profit for the quarter also rose more than 700% to $3.53 billion. Additionally, BioNTech announced that its global Covid-19 supply chain and manufacturing network now includes 20 manufacturing facilities across four continents. Given the good quarter, should investors be on the lookout for BNTX shares?
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UnitedHealth Group (UNH) is a multinational healthcare and insurance company. The company is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making healthcare work for everyone. Plus, it offers a full suite of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid recipients. UNH also contracts directly with more than 1.3 million physicians and healthcare professionals. In addition, UnitedHealth provides health benefits and provides care to people through its health care facilities in South America.
Yesterday the healthcare company said it would take over LHC Group (NASDAQ: LHCG) for approximately $5.4 billion in cash. LHC, for the most part, is a provider of home health care services, primarily for elderly patients with chronic illnesses and injuries. UNH, being the largest US health insurer, will further expand its footprint in home health services through this agreement. Obviously, the deal will combine LHC with UNH’s Optum unit, which manages pharmaceutical benefits and offers healthcare data analytics services. With a recovery underway, should you buy UNH stocks?
Another big healthcare company to watch is Astra Zeneca. The company primarily focuses on three main therapeutic areas, oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and respiratory diseases. It is also selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience and infections. Similar to other vaccine companies, AstraZeneca plays a vital role in providing coronavirus vaccines around the world. Over the past year, AZN stock has risen over 30%. On Monday, AstraZeneca said its long-acting antibody combination Evusheld had been approved by the European Union.
Specifically, it has been approved for the prevention of Covid-19 in a large population. It works by being taken preventively and is given as two injections. Moreover, its clinical trials have shown that the drug reduces the risk of developing symptomatic Covid-19 by 77% compared to placebo. Unlike other antibody treatments, which are used after contracting Covid-19, Evusheld would be used as an alternative vaccine for people who are immunocompromised or for whom vaccination is not recommended. Given the approval in the EU, would you invest in AZN shares?
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Valneva is a biotechnology company that develops prophylactic vaccines against infectious diseases. In fact, it currently has several vaccines in development, including unique vaccines for Lyme disease, coronavirus, and chikungunya. The company’s portfolio also includes two commercial vaccines for travelers. The company also has approximately 700 employees in six countries. On March 24, the biotech company released its 2021 annual results and shared some of its highlights. Notably, Valneva achieved total revenue of $387 million in 2021, tripling its revenue in 2020.
The company also shared its financial forecast for 2022. Namely, it expects to generate between $478 million and $656 million in revenue. In addition, Valneva has also made notable progress in its clinical programs. For example, its Lyme disease vaccine candidate VLA15 showed positive phase 2 results. Alongside this, its Covid-19 vaccine candidate VLA2001 landed purchase deals from the European Commission and Bahrain. Finally, the pre-submission process for its vaccine candidate against Chikungunya VLA1553 is expected to start in the second quarter of this year. Given all of this, is VALN stock worth watching?
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Abbott is a company that specializes in a diverse line of health care products. Its products include a line of rhythm management, electrophysiology, vascular and structural cardiac devices for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and diabetes care products. Last week, the US military awarded Abbott a billion dollar contract to supply rapid Covid-19 antigen tests to the federal government.
Clearly, this is part of the Biden administration’s effort to purchase one billion home testing kits to help meet future testing demand. The award to Abbott, for an undisclosed quantity of its BinaxNOW and ID NOW tests, is due by June. In fact, the company’s BinaxNOW, Panbio, and ID NOW assays generated massive revenue of $1.6 billion during the company’s third quarter of 2021. And throughout the year, the total revenue from Covid test sales was $7.7 billion, eclipsing $3.9 billion in 2020. With Abbott’s increased production, would you add ABT stock? to your wallet?
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