Do You Have These Health Care Stocks On Your Watchlist?
Health care stocks are often a popular choice among investors regardless of how the broader stock market is performing. After all, it is one of the largest and most complex sectors with a broad range of companies that sell medical products and services. This includes companies that sell drugs and medical devices to providers of medical insurance. In fact, sentiment around health insurers could improve after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published its 2023 proposed payment policy changes for Medicare Advantage and Part D drug programs. This is because the program revenue for private Medicare plans serving nearly 27 million beneficiaries could increase by approximately 8%.
In light of this, stocks that potentially benefit from the Medicare Advantage plans may include the likes of Humana (NYSE: HUM) and UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH). Elsewhere in the industry, health care giant Merck (NYSE: MRK) recently announced a strong fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 earnings report. Its quarterly sales from continuing operations were $13.5 billion, an increase of 24% year-over-year that reflects its continued strong business momentum and operational strength. Thus, it is understandable why investors are paying more attention to the industry right now. Given these exciting developments, here is a list of the top health care stocks to watch in the stock market today.
Best 4 Health Care Stocks To Watch Right Now
- Anthem Inc (NYSE: ANTM)
- Intuitive Surgical, Inc (NASDAQ: ISRG)
- CVS Health Corp (NYSE: CVS)
- Alignment Healthcare Inc (NASDAQ: ALHC)
Anthem is a leading health care company dedicated to improving lives and making healthcare simpler. Through its affiliated companies, Anthem serves more than 117 million people, including more than 45 million within its family of health plans. The company offers a spectrum of network-based managed care plans to individuals, employers, Medicaid, and Medicare markets. ANTM stock has been on a healthy incline over the past year, rising more than 45% within the period.
Last week, Anthem announced its fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 earnings. To say the least, it was yet another strong financial year for the company as it surpassed many analysts’ expectations on multiple important metrics. For starters, its medical enrollment increased by 2.4 million members year-over-year and 303 thousand members in the fourth quarter to 45.4 million members.
On top of that, its adjusted net income was $5.14 per share for the quarter, as compared to $2.54 per share a year ago. Also, its quarterly dividend increased by over 13% to $1.28 per share. Overall, the company is fairly confident in its momentum across all its business in 2022. Given these positive sentiments, would you consider ANTM stock a top health care stock to watch right now?
Another top health care stock to note is Intuitive Surgical. Essentially, the company develops, manufactures, and markets the da Vinci surgical system and Ion endoluminal system. Surgeons around the world utilize its da Vinci Surgical System to operate while seated at an ergonomic console view. Meanwhile, its Ion endoluminal system is a robotic-assisted, catheter-based platform designed to navigate through very small lung airways.
Intuitive is yet another health care giant that announced its fourth-quarter financial update last month. Impressively, its Worldwide da Vinci procedures increased approximately 19% as compared with the prior year’s quarter. Also, it shipped 385 da Vinci Surgical Systems, this represents an increase of 18% year-over-year. So, the company has now installed 6,730 systems as of December 31, 2021, an increase of 12% year-over-year.
The company’s consistent growth is also reflected through its financial metrics. Its revenue for the quarter was $1.55 billion, representing an increase of 17% year-over-year. Meanwhile, its GAAP net income attributable to the company was $381 million or $1.04 per diluted share. All in all, the increasing adoption of its surgical robotic units is a healthy indication for long-term growth for the company. Hence, would you consider adding ISRG stock to your watchlist?
Following that, we have the health services company, CVS Health. In detail, it operates through four segments, Pharmacy Services, Retail/LTC, Health Care Benefits, and Corporate/Other. What sets the company apart isn’t just the services it provides, it’s how it provides it. CVS believes that it could help people navigate the health care system by improving access, lowering costs, and being a trusted partner for every meaningful moment of health.
In January, CVS announced a collaboration with Uber (NYSE: UBER) Health, Uber’s healthcare arm. This is to provide critical transportation support at no cost to people who need it most when seeking access to medical care, work, or educational programs. The relationship is part of Health Zones, CVS Health’s new initiative that provides concentrated local investments to reduce health disparities across the country. Therefore, it will help eliminate any transportation barrier that can limit a person’s ability to receive medical care.
With the company announcing its fourth-quarter earnings report next week, investors will be on the lookout if it could maintain its momentum from its previous quarter. During the company’s third quarter, total revenues increased to $73.8 billion, up 10% year-over-year. In addition, its GAAP diluted EPS was $1.20, representing an increase of 29% year-over-year. With that said, would you invest in CVS stock ahead of its earnings report?
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To sum up the list, we will be looking at Alignment Healthcare. Put simply, it provides a health care platform for seniors. It offers its health care platform through its Medicare Advantage plan offerings. By putting the seniors first, the company will support doctors in how they engage patients at every level of care.
Last month, Alignment announced that its inpatient utilization was about 5 percent lower than expected in the fourth quarter. This further validates that its AVA health platform and differentiated care delivery models are working. By delivering high-quality care at lower costs, it allows the company to provide consistent value to its members every year.
With that being said, Alignment will still strive to improve in three core areas. Firstly, it will continue to innovate with attractive coverage and benefits. Also, the company aims to ensure all members have access to coordinated care in an increasingly digital-first world. Lastly, it wishes to engage more deeply with its network of marquee provider partners across the country. Keeping this in consideration, would ALHC stock be one to watch for the future?
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