With the COVID-19 pandemic not showing any signs abating, uncertainty has become the order of the day with people and the global economy bearing the brunt of it. In fact, the U.S. economy witnessed the sharpest contraction (32.9%) of gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter since the Great Depression. There has also been a resurgence in cases in several regions of the United States. These factors are likely to aggravate the market volatility further.
Although economists at S&P Global Ratings have projected an increase of 18-22% in GDP in the third quarter, the International Monetary Fund’s revised 2020 projection of 8% decline in U.S. GDP paints a gloomy picture for the country’s economy.
Moreover, the fate of the new coronavirus relief package is getting uncertain with each passing day especially since the initial $2.2-trillion stimulus bill got rejected. And now as Nancy Pelosi (U.S. House speaker) has rejected the $1.8 trillion proposal stating that the package does not deliver when it comes to demands arising from the pandemic and the recession, the passing of COVID-19 relief package before elections seems a distant possibility. Further, markets tumbled as the big drug companies put a pause on their vaccine trials, thereby making investors increasingly jittery.
Amid this mayhem, the MedTech space, which showed significant resilience during the first half of the year, can become a safe haven for investors ahead of the upcoming earnings season.
MedTech: A Safe Space for Investment
Despite the pandemic-led supply disruption, postponement of elective and non-critical procedures (creating a dent on MedTech sales), and delays in ongoing and prospective clinical trials and product approvals in the first half of 2020, MedTech emerged somewhat unscathed amid the volatile market.
In fact, notable players from this space have displayed impressive performance and countered the market meltdown on the back of the nature of their businesses that align well with COVID-19-related healthcare needs. Not just this, many MedTech makers, which suffered huge business loss due to procedure deferrals in initial pandemic phase, have already started to show signs of rebound across their businesses as even non-emergency medical procedures cannot be deferred endlessly. The signs of rebound are expected to be more prominent in the to-be-reported quarterly results.
4 Impressive MedTech Stocks to Add to Your Portfolio
Though the current pandemic-induced market mayhem has kept investors on tenterhooks, they can put their bets on the MedTech space, which is likely to yield benefits during the upcoming earnings season and possibly beyond.
To narrow down the list, we have selected four stocks with a VGM Score of A or B. Our research shows that stocks with a VGM Score of A or B, when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), offer the best upside potential.
ResMed Inc. (RMD - Free Report) witnessed significantly increase in demand for its critical care products amid this public health crisis and consequently has been scaling up production of ventilators, masks and other respiratory devices since March. According to management, its flagship ventilator — the Astral life-support ventilator — reached a peak of over five times the company’s weekly production rates during fourth-quarter fiscal 2020. Further, ResMed anticipates that the demand for its ventilators will continue to be strong even in the post-pandemic situation as few patients who have recovered from the coronavirus infection may suffer from lung damage, thus requiring long-term ventilator support. This, in turn, boosts investors’ confidence in the stock. Over the past five years, the company’s earnings growth rate is 13.1%, compared with the industry’s 7.5%.
Shares of this Zacks Rank #2 company, with a VGM Score of B, have gained 14.8% on a year-to-date basis compared with the industry’s growth of 0.4%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Owens & Minor, Inc. (OMI - Free Report) operates as a healthcare solutions company in the United States and internationally. The company exited second-quarter 2020 on a strong note with improved results courtesy of increased productivity, higher manufacturing output related to personal protective equipment (PPE), favorable revenue mix, and continued execution and delivery of operating efficiencies. It achieved a milestone in the battle against the pandemic with nearly five billion units of PPE shipped since February 2020. Additionally, strong second-quarter performance enabled the company to double full-year 2020 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) guidance to $1-$1.20 and reconfirm double digit adjusted EPS growth in 2021. The company has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 45.1%, compared with the industry’s 17.1%.
Year to date, shares of this Zacks Rank #1 company, with a VGM Score of A, have gained 408.5% compared with the industry’s growth of 0.4%.
DaVita Inc. (DVA - Free Report) managed to hold its ground amid the pandemic as DaVitaKidney Care segment continued delivering strong performance beginning with treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) all the way through End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and transplant throughout the second quarter. That’s not all. The Zacks Rank #1 company reaffirmed the 2020 revenue between $11.50 billion and $11.70 billion, while adjusted EPS projection has been updated to the range of $6.25-$6.75 compared with the previously-issued $5.75-6.25. This is likely to raise optimism in the stock and favor it in the near term. The company’s earnings yield stands at 7.8%, compared with the industry’s 1.9%.
Year to date, shares of the company, with a VGM Score of B, have gained 18.5% compared with the industry’s rally of 8.9%.
LHC Group, Inc. (LHCG - Free Report) , with a Zacks Rank of 2 and a VGM Score of B, continues to gain from hospice admissions, which rose year over year in the second quarter. Its better-than-expected earnings results in the reported quarter buoy optimism. The recent finalization of a joint venture (JV) partnership with Orlando Health is encouraging. LHC Group is focused on acquisitions and JVs for inorganic expansion. Its pipeline of potential M&A growth opportunities also remains robust and well balanced between Home Health and Hospice. The company has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 13.1%, compared with the industry’s 11.9%.
Shares of the company have gained 62.8% on a year-to-date basis compared with the industry’s rally of 31.9%.
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