Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

3 Top Healthcare Stocks to Buy Right Now

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

These three health care stocks deserve your undivided attention right now.

Healthcare stocks have been on a roller coaster ride this year. The global trade war, U.S. politics, and a seemingly less permissive Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have all taken on a toll on the sector in 2019. Nonetheless, there are still a handful of healthcare stocks worth owning right now. 

With this theme in mind, we asked three of our Motley Fool contributors for their top healthcare stock picks. They selected Amarin (AMRN 10.67%), Intuitive Surgical (ISRG 2.57%), and Teladoc Health (TDOC 3.53%). Here's a brief rundown on why these three healthcare stocks might be worth buying right now. 

An index finger pressing on a red Buy button on a keyboard.

Image source: Getty Images.

Buy the dip

George Budwell (Amarin): Earlier this month, Amarin, a mid-cap biopharma that markets the prescription omega-3 treatment Vascepa, took a big step backwards on the news that the Food and Drug Administration has decided to hold an advisory committee meeting to discuss the pros and cons of the drug's proposed label expansion for patients with elevated triglyceride levels despite being on statin therapy. The market, in its haste, took this surprise turn of events as a sign that the FDA may ultimately reject this all-important label expansion. 

As the shock of this advisory committee news has slowly worn off, Amarin's shares have started to regain their footing. Amarin's stock, in fact, has gained a healthy 8.3% in just the past five trading sessions. Part of what's driving this rebound is a suite of analyst upgrades in the aftermath of this unexpected regulatory update. Roth Capital, for instance, recently reaffirmed its buy rating on Amarin's stock and upped its price target to $31 per share. Roth, in effect, believes that Amarin's shares could nearly double in value over the next 12 months. 

Is Amarin worth the risk? While it's flat-out impossible to predict what the FDA will do in regards to Vascepa's proposed label expansion, the drug seems to have a better-than-average shot at getting a green light from regulators based on the publicly available data. Moreover, a rejection wouldn't necessarily halt the drug's red-hot commercial trajectory. Amarin, after all, already won the right to discuss Vascepa's clinical trial data with healthcare providers -- even for unapproved indications. Risk-tolerant investors, in kind, might want to buy into this rally soon.  

A must-have healthcare stock 

Keith Speights (Intuitive Surgical): I own quite a few healthcare stocks in my portfolio. My career has been spent primarily in healthcare. The industry continues to fascinate me. But out of all the healthcare stocks that I own, I'd say that the one I most consider as a must-have is Intuitive Surgical. I recently listed three stocks that I don't plan on ever selling. Intuitive Surgical was one of them.

The company pioneered the use of robotic-assisted surgery with its da Vinci system. Surgeons using robots to perform surgery used to be a novelty; now it's commonplace. And it's becoming more prevalent as technology advances to enable more types of surgical procedures to be performed with robotic assistance.

I am a huge fan of Intuitive's razor-and-blades business model. The company makes over 70% of its total revenue from recurring sources, including replacement instruments, accessories, and system leases. That percentage is almost guaranteed to climb as Intuitive's install base expands and as more customers transition to leasing systems.

Intuitive Surgical faces increasing competition. However, I still expect the company to increase its market share. The overall market should grow, for one thing. Long-term demographic trends will increase demand for the types of surgical procedures for which robotic surgery is ideally suited. Intuitive also isn't resting on its laurels and continues to innovate at a dizzying pace. My view is that the future looks brighter than ever for this great healthcare stock.

A better approach to healthcare

Todd Campbell (Teladoc): If we really want to move the needle on healthcare costs, we ought to embrace ways to increase healthcare supply, such as on-demand care provided by companies like Teladoc.

Today's approach to care is inefficient. Patients are expected to travel when sick to receive care in expensive to operate offices. Teladoc removes the burden of waiting in offices and reduces the burden of sky-high costs by providing access to doctors from the comfort of home.

Using the internet, patients connect directly with medical professionals online and because of its cost advantage, increasingly more self-employed businesses and health insurers are embracing it. In Q2, Teladoc conducted 908,000 visits, up 70% year over year, and as a result, reported revenue of $130 million, up 38% from the same period last year.

As the company expands to address more indications and more patients win access to its services, the company's sales should continue climbing. Americans visit doctors nearly 1 billion times per year, so Teladoc's current market share only scratches the surface of its addressable opportunity.

 

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Amarin Corporation plc Stock Quote
Amarin Corporation plc
AMRN
$1.66 (10.67%) $0.16
Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Stock Quote
Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
ISRG
$225.18 (2.57%) $5.65
Teladoc Health, Inc. Stock Quote
Teladoc Health, Inc.
TDOC
$32.85 (3.53%) $1.12

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
338%
 
S&P 500 Returns
119%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/18/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.