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Should You Invest in the VanEck Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH)?

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If you're interested in broad exposure to the Healthcare - Pharma segment of the equity market, look no further than the VanEck Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH - Free Report) , a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 12/20/2011.

Passively managed ETFs are becoming increasingly popular with institutional as well as retail investors due to their low cost, transparency, flexibility and tax efficiency. They are excellent vehicles for long term investors.

Sector ETFs also provide investors access to a broad group of companies in particular sectors that offer low risk and diversified exposure. Healthcare - Pharma is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 8, placing it in top 50%.

Index Details

The fund is sponsored by Van Eck. It has amassed assets over $487.51 million, making it one of the larger ETFs attempting to match the performance of the Healthcare - Pharma segment of the equity market. PPH seeks to match the performance of the MVIS US Listed Pharmaceutical 25 Index before fees and expenses.

The MVIS US Listed Pharmaceutical 25 Index tracks the overall performance of companies involved in pharmaceuticals, including pharmaceutical research and development as well a production, marketing and sales of pharmaceuticals.


When considering an ETF's total return, expense ratios are an important factor, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts in the long term if all other factors remain equal.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.35%, making it one of the least expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.77%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

While ETFs offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, a deep look into a fund's holdings is a valuable exercise. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Looking at individual holdings, Abbvie Inc (ABBV - Free Report) accounts for about 5.93% of total assets, followed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY - Free Report) and Mckesson Corp (MCK - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 52.71% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has lost about -0.88% and is up roughly 2.82% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 06/13/2022), respectively. PPH has traded between $71.36 and $83.96 during this last 52-week period.

The ETF has a beta of 0.79 and standard deviation of 20.37% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 26 holdings, it has more concentrated exposure than peers.


VanEck Pharmaceutical ETF holds a Zacks ETF Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Because of this, PPH is a great option for investors seeking exposure to the Health Care ETFs segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.

Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF (PJP - Free Report) tracks Dynamic Pharmaceutical Intellidex Index and the iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF (IHE - Free Report) tracks Dow Jones U.S. Select Pharmaceuticals Index. Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF has $297.56 million in assets, iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF has $418.48 million. PJP has an expense ratio of 0.58% and IHE charges 0.42%.

Bottom Line

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.

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