Is There a Rally Ahead for Healthcare Stocks After Bristol Meyers Beat Earnings?

Bristol Meyers beat earnings estimates, but does that mean 2014 will be another good year for healthcare stocks?

Healthcare stocks and consumer goods giants like Bristol Meyers Squibb (BMY) and Procter & Gamble (PG) are up today on the back of earnings reports that beat Wall Street's expectations. Bristol Meyers GAAP diluted EPS went up 21% for the quarter, sending shares up 3% during early morning trading, although the price has receded somewhat. 

Procter & Gamble reported strong earnings as well, mostly on the back of rising sales on discretionary goods like diapers in emerging markets. Analysts estimated that earnings would be about $1.20 per share, which the company beat by a cent. As of 11:00 AM EST, the stock was up over 3%. 

Earnings reports have been highly scrutinized this January, as many on Wall Street worry about high valuations. All three of the major indices are down precipitously for the week, as investors adjust to an environment where choosing stocks is expected to be much trickier, and soaring prices are less common. 

Investing ideas

While Proctor & Gamble is primarily seen as a consumer goods maker, the largest in the world, the company also operates a healthcare segment. Based on the strong earnings of these two giants, we decided to build a list of healthcare stocks that are reporting earnings next week. 

Of the 30 or so healthcare stocks on that list, we narrowed it further based on market cap, profit margins, and projected EPS growth. 

Small and micro-cap healthcare stocks are very risky, since their price often hinges on FDA approval for a particular product. So we only included companies with a market cap above $2 billion. All of these companies also have fairly high profit margins, above 10%.

And analysts feel that these companies have access to growing markets, as indicated by projected earnings per share growth of at least 10% over the next five years.

We were left with just five healthcare stocks on our list.

Click on the interactive chart below to view data over time. 

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Do you think any of these healthcare stocks reporting earnings next weak will beat estimates as well? Use the list below to begin your analysis.

 

1. AbbVie Inc. (ABBV, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): A research-based biopharmaceutical company, engages in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of pharmaceutical products worldwide. Market cap at $77.61B, most recent closing price at $48.87.

EPS Next 5Y: 13.4%

Profit Margin: 24.00%

2. Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of biologic therapeutic products in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Japan, and the Asia Pacific. Market cap at $26.82B, most recent closing price at $137.94.

EPS Next 5Y: 25.43%

Profit Margin: 24.7%

3. Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Develops, manufactures, and markets therapeutics in the areas of neurology, immunology, hemophilia, and oncology in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $73.55B, most recent closing price at $314.96.

EPS Next 5Y: 20.19%

Profit Margin: 26.6%

4. Celgene Corporation (CELG, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Develops, and commercializes various therapies to treat cancer and immune-inflammatory related diseases. Market cap at $67.38B, most recent closing price at $168.55.

EPS Next 5Y: 24.01%

Profit Margin: 24.2%

5. MEDNAX, Inc. (MD, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Provides neonatal, maternal-fetal, other pediatric subspecialty and anesthesia physician services in the United States and Puerto Rico. Market cap at $5.34B, most recent closing price at $54.35.

EPS Next 5Y: 12.93%

Profit Margin: 13.00%

 

(List compiled by James Dennin and Will Kenton. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research, all other data sourced from Yahoo! Finance.)

Analyze These Ideas: Getting Started

Read descriptions for all companies mentioned Access a performance overview for all stocks in the list Compare analyst ratings for the companies mentioned Compare analyst ratings to annual returns for stocks mentioned Real-Time Opinion: Scan the latest tweets about these companies (feed will open in a new window)

Dig Deeper: Access Company Snapshots, Charts, Filings

AbbVie Inc.(ABBV, Chart, Download SEC Filings) Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(ALXN, Chart, Download SEC Filings) Biogen Idec Inc.(BIIB, Chart, Download SEC Filings) Celgene Corporation(CELG, Chart, Download SEC Filings) MEDNAX, Inc.(MD, Chart, Download SEC Filings)

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