Health Care Stocks To Buy And Watch In 2021

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The U.S. soon will spend nearly 20% of its gross domestic product on health care. This comes as health care costs outpace the rise in inflation. So, health care stocks are in the limelight.




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And smart investors can cash in by eyeing key health care stocks. Headlines abound for biotech and pharma stocks with cutting-edge medicines. But health care stocks actually comprise a broader swath of medical companies. Many of these are rising above the rest amid the coronavirus pandemic.

All of these health care stocks share commonalities: a streak of bullish earnings growth and high Composite and Relative Strength ratings. The Composite Rating measures key growth metrics and the RS Rating looks at a stock’s 12-month performance against all other stocks.

These Are The Top 3 Health Care Stocks Today:

Quidel Is Among The Fastest-Growing Stocks

Quidel works in the molecular diagnostics area of medical technology. Meanwhile, the health care stock sells tests that can detect the viruses that lead to influenza, chickenpox, shingles and strep throat, among others. Quidel also makes a test that can detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that leads to Covid-19.

In addition, the firm makes test kits known as immunoassays that look for chlamydia, cancer, dry eye disease and others.

Quidel stock ranks eighth out of the 150 fastest-growing stocks, according to MarketSmith.com. Over the past five years, Quidel’s earnings per share have grown by an average 136% annually. In the third quarter, the health care stock reported 726% growth in adjusted profit to $5.78 per share.

Sales growth has also accelerated for the past six quarters.

Additionally, shares rank first in the Medical-Products industry group. The group itself is ranked No. 101 out of the 197 groups Investor’s Business Daily tracks, putting it narrowly in the top half of all industry groups.

Quidel stock has a perfect EPS Rating of 99. It also has a nearly perfect Composite Rating of 98. Shares have a strong RS Rating of 80, which puts it among the upper echelon of all stocks in terms of 12-month performance.

However, shares weren’t forming a definitive chart pattern intraday on Jan. 6.

Repligen: Among The Top Health Care Stocks

Repligen stock is tied with Quidel for the top spot among Medical-Products stocks.

The medical stock is a necessary partner in biologic drugmaking. Biologic medicines rely on living materials. Repligen makes a substance called Protein A. The company also makes chromatography and filtration tools for bioprocessing.

A wide array of medicines on the market are called monoclonal antibodies. Many of them are purified on Repligen’s Protein A product. Chief Executive Tony Hunt likens his company to a “surgeon” for biologic drugmakers. The company aims to solve pain points in bioprocessing.

In the third quarter, Repligen earned 40 cents per share, minus some items, on $94.1 million in sales, up a respective 54% and 35% year over year. Earnings growth has accelerated for three consecutive quarters.

On MarketSmith.com’s list, health care stock Repligen ranks No. 115 with an average annual earnings growth rate of 28%. The medical stock also has strong Composite and RS Ratings of 98 and 85, respectively. Its EPS Rating is a nearly perfect 98.

Shares are now consolidating with a buy point at 212.65.

Idexx Labs Works With Veterinarians

Idexx Laboratories is tied closely to the veterinary industry. The company makes diagnostic tools for veterinarians. The medical stock leads the Medical-Systems/Equipment industry group with a perfect Composite Rating of 99.

The company provides tools for veterinarians that work with small animals, livestock and horses. It also sells water testing solutions.

On MarketSmith.com’s list of 150 fastest-growing companies, Idexx stock ranks No. 133. Over the past five years, adjusted income has grown 25% on an average annual rate. Shares have an almost-perfect EPS Rating of 98. Its RS Rating is a strong 84.

In the third quarter, Idexx reported adjusted earnings of $1.69 per share and $721.8 million in sales, increases of 36% and 19%, respectively. Year-over-year growth on both measures accelerated from the prior quarter.

Shares broke out of a flat base with an entry at 485.10 in December. The medical stock was just below its buy point on Jan. 6.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.

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