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Prescription for Profit

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It seems every ailment has a cure and every cure, an ailment.  Browsing the drug store, you can’t help but feel like “there’s a pill for that,” as prescribed by Dr. Siri.  On the other hand, side effects need to be monitored closely.  One could draw a similar parallel to investing in pharmaceuticals.

The Medical/Drugs sector of the Zacks Industry Rank list gained 33 positions last week -- significant movement for a sector comprised of 97 companies.  After this booster, the industry now holds a rank of #56 out of 260 ranked industries.  With positive earnings revisions outpacing negative 143 to 74, the average positive Earnings per Share (EPS) surprise of +10% is remarkable given the size of the sector.

Two of the biotech and pharmaceutical companies have a particularly positive prognosis, moving last week to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) from a “Buy” or “Hold” rating.  This could signal positive future performance for these stocks in response to future positive earnings estimate revisions.  While a good indicator of industry health, it’s equally important to understand the fine-print details when mixing with other investments.

Take a look at the following companies and see if they could give your portfolio a needed shot in the arm.

Enanta Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ENTA - Free Report)

ENTA was upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) last week from #3 (Neutral).
Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biotechnology company. It engages in the research and development of molecule drugs for the treatment of infectious diseases such as the hepatitis C virus, respiratory tract infections, intravenous and oral treatments.  Consider its strong position in royalties on sales of ABT-450, its low-cost profile could be just the ticket for continued profitability.

Its last earnings surprise was +30%.

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals (SCMP)

SCMP is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).  It moved up from a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) last week.  

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an emerging pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of proprietary drugs based on prostones, a class of compounds derived from functional fatty acids that occur naturally in the human body. Sucampo is focused on developing prostones for the treatment of gastrointestinal, respiratory, vascular and central nervous system diseases and disorders.

Sucampo’s last earnings surprise was +400%.  2014 consensus EPS estimates are still drifting higher. This company reports quarterly earnings on March 12, 2014.

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