Investors focused on the healthcare sector seem to be getting scared -- and it's not even Halloween yet. Healthcare stocks have taken a beating recently. But remember what Warren Buffett once famously said: "Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful."
If you want to follow Buffett's advice (and why shouldn't you?!), there are plenty of good deals to be found right now. Here are three healthcare stocks that are looking cheap.
A megablockbuster and a loaded pipeline
AbbVie (ABBV 0.33%) counts over 30 products on the market. One of those products, though, generates over 60% of the company's total revenue: Humira. In the first half of 2016, sales for the autoimmune disease drug totaled $7.2 billion, up 16% compared to the prior-year period.
While Humira certainly remains the primary driver behind AbbVie's success, the biotech's lineup includes a couple of other enormously successful drugs. Imbruvica, which is co-marketed by Johnson & Johnson, pulled in revenue of $820 million in the first half of the year. Hepatitis C treatment Viekira made $833 million in the same period.
There's also a lot for investors to like about AbbVie's pipeline. The biotech has over 50 clinical studies in progress. 15 of those are in late-stage development. Two pipeline candidates could emerge as heirs to Humira -- ABT-494 and risankizumab. Elagolix stands out as another drug with great potential. Zacks analyst David Bautz thinks if Elagolix wins regulatory approval, it could reach peak annual sales of $1.5 billion for the endometriosis indication and $2.6 billion for the uterine fibroids indication.
AbbVie trades at less than 11 times forward earnings. With analysts projecting that the company could grow earnings by 16% annually over the next five years, this stock looks attractively valued. Plus, investors also shouldn't overlook AbbVie's dividend yield of 3.73%, one of the better yields available in the healthcare sector.
Pharmacy benefits manager with benefits
Express Scripts (ESRX) ranks as the largest pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) in the U.S. Like other PBMs, Express Scripts should benefit from the aging U.S. population. As Americans grow older, they're more likely to need prescription drugs. This increased usage of prescription drugs should bode well for demand for PBMs, which exist to help control drug costs.
Size gives Express Scripts a competitive advantage. Because of its 85 million covered lives, the PBM has more leverage in negotiating with drug companies. That large size also helps Express Scripts achieve operational economies of scale.
Shares of the PBM are down around 20% year to date. The primary reason behind this drop is a dispute between Express Scripts and its second-largest customer, Anthem. The two companies are currently in litigation.
My view is that risk from the Anthem dispute is already largely baked into Express Scripts' share price. The stock currently trades at a little over 10 times forward earnings. That's well below the PBM's historical levels. Demographic trends should enable Express Scripts to continue to grow at a solid rate. I think this growth potential combined with Express Scripts' attractive valuation make this a stock for investors to seriously consider.
Jazz up your portfolio
Soaring sales of Xyrem have been music to the ears of Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ 1.02%) shareholders. The narcolepsy drug brought in revenue of more than $530 million the first half of 2016, up 15% compared to the prior-year period.
Three other drugs in Jazz's lineup also make solid contributions to the company's financial success. Leukemia drug Erwinaze made over $100 million in the first six months of the year. Sales for Defitelio, which treats hepatic veno-occlusive disease, topped $51 million. Pain medication Prialt generated revenue of more than $14 million during the period.
Jazz hopes to soon have another big winner. The company recently initiated a rolling submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) for Vyxeos. Jazz picked up the acute myeloid leukemia drug with its acquisition of Celator earlier this year.
This biotech appears to offer investors growth at a very reasonable price. Wall Street thinks Jazz Pharmaceuticals will be able to increase earnings by 18% annually over the next five years. Assuming Vyxeos wins regulatory approval, I think those projections seem realistic. Jazz's stock trades at just over 10 times forward earnings. That makes Jazz a relatively inexpensive biotech stock for investors to put on their watch list.