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2 Cheap Healthcare Stocks to Buy Now

By Adria Cimino – May 3, 2020 at 7:36AM

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These stocks have a track record of revenue growth, and more is to come.

It's time to shop for healthcare stocks that have suffered so far this year but should rebound in the long term thanks to growth drivers waiting in the wings. The first of these great deals, a pharmaceutical company, has a blockbuster on the market, a newer drug with growing sales, and possible drug approvals in the coming months. And the second great deal is a diagnostics player with a huge opportunity in cancer screening.

Scientists work with beakers and samples in a laboratory.

Image source: Getty Images.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ -1.46%), a maker of sleep therapeutics and oncology drugs, has steadily grown annual revenue for more than a decade, announcing record annual revenue for 2019. Total revenue climbed 14% to $2.2 billion, and net product sales of blockbuster narcolepsy drug Xyrem increased 17% to $1.6 billion.

But the drug's sales may head lower after this year. Sales of Xyrem are forecast to peak in 2020, according to Evaluate Pharma, and patent expiration is coming up in 2023.

Still, Jazz will benefit from growth in sales of Vyxeos, a treatment for two types of acute myeloid leukemia that was approved in 2017. Vyxeos revenue rose 20% last year to $121 million, and the company forecasts a gain of as much as 36% this year. The global acute myeloid leukemia market, with a compound annual growth rate of 19%, is expected to reach $2.2 billion by 2025, according to iHealthcare Analyst. The company reports earnings on May 5, so we'll get an up-to-date look at Vyxeos' progress then.

Jazz is also expecting approval decisions in the coming months. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing JZP-258 for cataplexy (sudden muscle weakness) and excessive daytime sleepiness in narcolepsy patients age 7 and older, and lurbinectedin for the treatment of relapsed small-cell lung cancer.

Jazz is trading at just under 12 times earnings, after recently slipping below 10, its lowest valuation by that measure since 2013. The shares also are trading at 1.9 times book value, near a record low. The stock has dropped 28% this year, and from here, Wall Street predicts 48% upside.

Exact Sciences

Exact Sciences (EXAS -0.28%), a maker of cancer diagnostic tests, may face some near-term challenges as the coronavirus pandemic has spurred patients to postpone preventive screening. The company said orders for its Cologuard colon cancer screening test fell 36% year over year during the last half of March and 63% during the first 20 days of April. And weakness in the company's precision oncology genomic tests may persist in the coming months, Exact Sciences said. That's due to the lag time between cancer screening and the ordering of genomic tests.

But the above slowdown was caused by the coronavirus outbreak, which is a temporary situation. I expect business to return to normal once postponed tests are done and a regular schedule resumes.

Exact Sciences has a good growth story to come. Last fall, the FDA approved a label expansion for Cologuard to include average-risk people age 45 and older. That's an expansion from the previous approval for ages 50 and older and adds the possibility to reach as many as 19 million Americans. The company aims to eventually reach at least 40% of the U.S. colorectal cancer screening market. And it predicts that precision oncology tests will expand its total addressable market worldwide by about $4 billion.

We've already gotten a glimpse of the kind of growth Exact Sciences can deliver. The company has increased revenue every year since 2015. In the most recent quarter, screening revenue soared 60% and Cologuard test volume climbed 63%. The company is scheduled to report earnings on May 6, but I wouldn't let a possible coronavirus-led slowdown dim my outlook. Now is the time to buy the shares, which have lost 18% so far this year. They are trading at just less than five times book value, close to their lowest level since 2017. That's a great deal considering the growth on the horizon for this healthcare company.

Adria Cimino has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Exact Sciences. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Jazz Pharmaceuticals Stock Quote
Jazz Pharmaceuticals
$136.39 (-1.46%) $-2.02
Exact Sciences Stock Quote
Exact Sciences
$36.06 (-0.28%) $0.10

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

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