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3 Stocks to Watch on Rising Demand for Scientific Instruments

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The coronavirus pandemic has created unique opportunities for the Zacks Instruments - Scientific industry participants — Mettler-Toledo International (MTD - Free Report) , Waters (WAT - Free Report) and Bruker (BRKR - Free Report) . These companies are gaining from growing testing needs of newer biological drugs, ever-increasing complexity in molecular structure and rising instrument orders across the globe. Increasing healthcare spending, driven by an aging demography and continued innovation in the pharma and life sciences end-markets, is a key catalyst. Increasing demand for generic drugs and biosimilars is driving growth for scientific tool and apparatus providers. Further, the reopening of university research laboratories as well as applied and industrial labs globally is a driving factor for the near term.

Industry Description

The Zacks Instruments - Scientific industry comprises companies offering scientific instruments, analytical tools, diagnostic solutions, precision instruments & services, and test & sensor solutions. The primary end-markets served by the industry participants are life science research in academia, medical schools and government, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, microbiology and diagnostics, nanotechnology, and materials science research. A few companies also serve the food and nutritional safety, biochemical, and industrial spaces.Most of the industry participants are under stringent regulatory scrutiny worldwide. They have to adhere to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) norms as well as rules set by other global regulatory bodies for serving highly regulated end-markets like life sciences and pharma.

3 Trends Shaping the Future of Instruments-Scientific Industry

Strong End-Market Demand: The industry is benefiting from strong end-market demand, particularly from the life science, pharmaceutical and academic markets. Increasing demand for generic drugs and biosimilars is driving growth for scientific tool and apparatus providers. Additionally, pharma companies are focusing on rapidly growing areas like proteomics and phenomics, biopharma and applied, microbiology and diagnostics, and neuroscience and cell microscopy, which creates significant demand for the instruments provided by industry participants.

Aging Demography Driving Spending: Socioeconomic factors like an aging demography and increasing environmental regulations are driving demand for scientific measurement solutions. Moreover, robust worldwide healthcare spending is a major growth driver.

Solid Emerging Market Prospects: Further, the industry is gaining from increasing exposure to developing economies like China and India. Prospects in China are huge as regulators are attempting to raise the country’s biopharma industry to global standards. Moreover, efforts to improve the drug development process and production quality in the country are noteworthy. These factors are resulting in strong demand for instruments.

Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Solid Prospects

The Zacks Instruments - Scientific industry is housed within the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector. It carries a Zacks Industry Rank #78, which places it at the top 31% of more than 250 Zacks industries.

The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates solid near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.

The industry’s position in the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries is a result of positive earnings outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate. Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are gaining confidence in this group’s earnings growth potential. Since Jun 30, 2021, the industry’s 2022 earnings estimates have moved up 13.54%.

Before we present a few stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio, let’s take a look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and valuation picture.

Industry Beats Sector, Lags S&P 500

The Zacks Instruments – Scientific industry has outperformed the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector but lagged the S&P 500 composite over the past year.

The industry has declined 17.3% over this period compared with the S&P 500’s fall of 14.1% and the broader sector’s decline of 28.7%.

One-Year Price Performance

Industry's Current Valuation

On the basis of forward 12-month P/E, which is a commonly used multiple for valuing scientific instrument stocks, we see that the industry is currently trading at 23.39X compared with the S&P 500’s 15.71X and the Zacks Computer and Technology sector’s 18.76X.

Over the last five years, the industry has traded as high as 36.31X, as low as 21.24X and at the median of 25.63X, as the chart below shows.

Forward 12-Month Price-to-Earnings (P/E) Ratio

3 Scientific Instruments Providers to Watch

Waters: Milford, MA-based, Waters is an analytical instrument manufacturer and offers practical and sustainable products for laboratory-dependent organizations.

Waters is gaining from growth in its top global pharma accounts. Solid momentum across new product lines like BioAccord and Cyclic IMS is a positive. The company’s strengthening presence in the industrial and pharmaceutical end-markets is a tailwind.

Growing investments in LC, LC-MS and chemistry categories are aiding Waters in gaining traction in the large-molecule market. Also, growing momentum across biomedical research applications is positive.

Waters currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Waters’ current-year earnings has moved up 1.6% to $38.36 per share over the past 30 days. Shares are down 17.2% year to date.

Price and Consensus: WAT

 

Mettler-Toledo International: This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company is benefiting from solid momentum across its laboratory and industrial segments.

Mettler Toledo’s strengthening presence in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Rest of the World is a positive. Furthermore, portfolio strength, cost-cutting efforts, robust sales and marketing strategies, benefits from investments in Spinnaker sales, and field resources are contributing well. Also, a strong core industrial business is encouraging. Solid demand across pharmaceutical and life science markets is a tailwind.

Shares of this Polaris Parkway, Columbus, OH-based company have lost 35.3% year to date. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Mettler-Toledo’s current-year earnings has been steady at $38.35 per share over the past 30 days.

Price and Consensus: MTD

 

Bruker: This Billerica, MA-based company is benefiting from growth in its Nano Group’s microelectronics and semiconductor metrology tools.

This Zacks Rank #3 company is riding on strong prospects for CALID Group and BioSpin. Continued growth in mass spectrometry and microbiology businesses, along with strength in the FTIR/Near IR/Raman molecular spectroscopy products lines, has been beneficial for CALID Group.

Bruker’s BioSpin's solution has been gaining adoption not only among academic and government customers, but also from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Bruker’s 2022 earnings has been steady at $2.31 per share in the past 30 days. The stock has declined 27.6% year to date.

Price and Consensus: BRKR



In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above


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Waters Corporation (WAT) - free report >>

MettlerToledo International, Inc. (MTD) - free report >>

Bruker Corporation (BRKR) - free report >>

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