Sure, many stocks have bounced back somewhat from their lows during the massive market meltdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. However, there are still lots of attractive opportunities for long-term investors.
One of the best places to invest over the last five years has been in medical device stocks. The iShares U.S. Medical Devices ETF has more than tripled the performance of the S&P 500 index during the period. I think medical device stocks will continue to beat the overall market throughout this decade.
But which stocks are the best picks? If you have $5,000 to invest (or even less), here are three great medical device stocks to buy right now.
1. Abbott Labs
Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) stock has rebounded stronger than most stocks have in recent days. It definitely helped that the company received emergency use authorization last week from the FDA to launch the fastest molecular point-of-care test for diagnosing novel coronavirus disease COVID-19. I fully expect this new test, which will run on the already-popular ID NOW testing platform, will be an enormous winner for Abbott.
But as difficult as the challenges are right now, the COVID-19 crisis will only be temporary. Abbott's primary growth drivers lie in addressing health issues that won't go away.
Wall Street analysts project that Abbott will increase its earnings by more than 10% on average annually over the next five years. One key to achieving that growth is the company's successful continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system Freestyle Libre. Abbott hopes to soon win FDA clearance for a new version of the device that should pave the way for an even greater market opportunity.
In addition to its strong growth prospects, Abbott reigns as one of the more attractive dividend stocks around. The company has increased its dividend for 48 consecutive years and has paid a dividend for a remarkable 384 consecutive quarters. That's 96 years of steady dividends. Abbott's dividend currently yields around 1.8%.
DexCom's (NASDAQ:DXCM) shares have also made a solid comeback. Although the company doesn't have any products that can be used in the fight against COVID-19, it does have one important thing in common with Abbott Labs.
Like Abbott, DexCom markets a super-successful CGM device. DexCom's G6 has become one of the most popular tools for individuals with diabetes to monitor and manage their condition. The G6 is the first FDA-approved integrated CGM that's interoperable with other medical devices such as insulin pumps.
DexCom has an even more promising product on the way. CEO Kevin Sayer stated in the company's Q4 conference call in February that the G7 CGM, which will be less expensive and smaller than the G6, should be "the biggest product launch in DexCom's history." The company expects to launch the new device in 2021.
Analysts think that DexCom will grow its earnings by an average of nearly 55% annually over the next five years. That kind of growth doesn't seem farfetched considering the likely market opportunity for the company's G7 device.
3. ShockWave Medical
ShockWave Medical (NASDAQ:SWAV) stock took a bigger beating during the coronavirus market sell-off than either Abbott or DexCom. That's not surprising considering that ShockWave is smaller and not yet profitable. But like the larger medical device makers, ShockWave's share price has bounced back in a major way even though it's still down year to date.
The company took an old idea and applied it in an innovative new way. Lithotripsy has been used for decades as a way to break up calcium in kidney stones using sound waves. ShockWave uses intravascular lithotripsy (IVL) to crack calcium in arteries.
This IVL approach reduces some of the major risks associated with current therapies for treating atherosclerosis. For example, balloons and surgery can cause perforations to blood vessels and tissue damage. IVL's sound waves expand blood vessels under low pressure, lowering the risk of perforation and minimizing the chances of harming soft tissue.
ShockWave estimates that its market opportunity tops $6 billion annually. The company should generate around $75 million in revenue this year. It's not surprising that Wall Street analysts project tremendous growth for ShockWave over the next few years.