For those looking to find strong Medical stocks, it is prudent to search for companies in the group that are outperforming their peers. AstraZeneca (AZN - Free Report) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Medical sector should help us answer this question.
AstraZeneca is a member of the Medical sector. This group includes 887 individual stocks and currently holds a Zacks Sector Rank of #1. The Zacks Sector Rank includes 16 different groups and is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors.
The Zacks Rank emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. AZN is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).
Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for AZN's full-year earnings has moved 0.50% higher. This signals that analyst sentiment is improving and the stock's earnings outlook is more positive.
According to our latest data, AZN has moved about 5.58% on a year-to-date basis. In comparison, Medical companies have returned an average of -3.64%. As we can see, AstraZeneca is performing better than its sector in the calendar year.
Looking more specifically, AZN belongs to the Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry, a group that includes 15 individual stocks and currently sits at #15 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, stocks in this group have lost 3.55% this year, meaning that AZN is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.
Investors in the Medical sector will want to keep a close eye on AZN as it attempts to continue its solid performance.