Should Investors Be Watching These Top Health Care Stocks This Week?
In the past 2 years, health care stocks have been among the more important sectors in the stock market thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although new daily cases in the country have been relatively low compared to the start of the year, the health care industry still has many areas that could be of interest to investors. This is because of many other diseases that have high mortality rates and require extensive treatments. Health care companies have been working to develop treatments and therapies to treat these diseases. And these solutions, by extension, would mean profits for these health care companies.
Just yesterday, the FDA approved second booster shots of the Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) Covid-19 vaccines for Americans 50 years and older. While the approval was only for those 50 years and older, the approval could potentially expand to Americans 18 years and above in the months ahead. This may happen when health regulators find that the protection from the initial booster dose has waned. Ultimately, this would mean another round of tailwinds for the two companies thanks to additional sales. And with that, here are five health care stocks to check out in the stock market today.
Health Care Stocks To Buy [Or Sell] This Week
- BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX)
- UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH)
- AstraZeneca Plc (NASDAQ: AZN)
- Valneva SE ADR (NASDAQ: VALN)
- Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT)
Starting us off today, we have BioNTech, a biopharmaceutical company that has pioneered novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases. Accordingly, the company exploits a wide array of computational discovery and therapeutic drug platforms for the rapid development of novel biopharmaceuticals. Based on its deep expertise in mRNA vaccine development and its in-house manufacturing capabilities, the company has created one of the first mRNA vaccines in the world to treat Covid-19.
Today, the company reported its fourth-quarter and full-year financials. Diving in, revenues for the quarter grew by over 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 more than 165 countries and regions worldwide in 2021. This also includes more than 1 billion doses to low- and middle-income countries. It also says that it has signed orders for 2022 delivery of up to 2.4 billion vaccine doses. Its net profit for the quarter also rose by over 700% to $3.53 billion. Also, BioNTech announced that its global Covid-19 supply chain and manufacturing network now includes 20 manufacturing facilities that span across four continents. Given the strong quarter, should investors be on the look-out for BNTX stock?
UnitedHealth Group (UNH) is a multinational health care and insurance company. The company is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work for everyone. Moreover, it offers a full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. UNH also contracts directly with more than 1.3 million physicians and care professionals. Furthermore, UnitedHealth provides health benefits and delivers care to people through its health care facilities in South America.
Yesterday, the health care company said that it will be taking over LHC Group (NASDAQ: LHCG) for approximately $5.4 billion in cash. LHC, for the most part, is a provider of health care services at home, mainly for older patients dealing with chronic illness and injuries. UNH, being the largest U.S. health insurer, will further expand its footprint into home health services through this deal. Evidently, the deal will combine LHC with UNH’s Optum unit, which manages drug benefits and offers health care data analytics services. With taking over in the works, should you buy UNH stock?
Another top health care company to watch is AstraZeneca. The company primarily focuses on three main therapy areas, Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease, and Respiratory. It is also selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience, and infection. Similar to other vaccine companies, AstraZeneca plays a vital role in providing coronavirus vaccines around the globe. Over the past year, AZN stock has risen by over 30%. On Monday, AstraZeneca said that its Evusheld long-acting antibody combination has been approved by the European Union.
Specifically, it was approved for the prevention of Covid-19 in a broad population. It works by being taken pre-emptively and is administered in two injections. Additionally, its clinical trials showed that the drug reduces the risk of developing symptomatic Covid-19 by 77% compared to the placebo. Unlike other antibody treatments, which are used after contracting Covid-19, Evusheld would be used as an alternative vaccination for those who are immunocompromised or for whom vaccination is not recommended. Given the approval in the EU, would you invest in AZN stock?
Valneva is a biotech company that develops prophylactic vaccines for infectious diseases. In fact, it currently has several vaccines in development, including unique vaccines against Lyme disease, coronavirus, and chikungunya. The company’s portfolio also includes two commercial vaccines for travelers. The company also has approximately 700 employees across six countries. On March 24, the biotech firm reported its full-year 2021 results and shared some of its highlights. Notably, Valneva brought in total revenues of $387 million in 2021, tripling from its revenue in 2020.
The company also shared its financial guidance for 2022. Namely, it expects to pull in between $478 to $656 million in revenue. Besides that, Valneva also made some notable strides in its clinical programs. For instance, its Lyme disease vaccine candidate VLA15 showed positive Phase 2 results. Next to that, its Covid-19 vaccine candidate VLA2001 has bagged purchase agreements from the European Commission and Bahrain. And last but not least, its Chikungunya vaccine candidate VLA1553 pre-submission process is expected to start in the second quarter this year. Considering all these, is VALN stock worth watching?
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Abbott is a company that specializes in a diversified line of health care products. Its products include a line of rhythm management, electrophysiology, vascular and structural heart devices for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes care products. Last week, the U.S. Army awarded Abbott a $1 billion contract to provide rapid Covid-19 antigen tests to the federal government.
Evidently, this comes as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to purchase one billion at-home test 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 tests brought in a massive $1.6 billion in revenue during the company’s third-quarter in 2021. And throughout the full year, the total revenue from Covid test sales came in at $7.7 billion, dwarfing the $3.9 billion in 2020. With Abbott ramping up production, would you add ABT stock to your portfolio?