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3 Top Healthcare Stocks That Can Make You Richer in 2021 (and Beyond)

By Alex Carchidi - Feb 17, 2021 at 6:36AM

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What's better than rapid growth and a dividend payment?

The path to wealth is long, but every step in the right direction counts. That's why it's important to pack your portfolio with stocks that have the long-term stability and shareholder returns that you'll need to make consistent progress over time. Don't confuse stability for being boring, though -- it's often the more stable companies that are quietly making money hand over fist.

The companies I'll discuss today are profitable, growing quickly, and they also pay dividends. More importantly, their business models are already proven, so they won't be as risky as other fast-growing companies, but they'll still pull through for your portfolio.

A doctor holds a piggy bank.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Simulations Plus

As its name implies, Simulations Plus (SLP 1.12%) makes simulation software for drug discovery. In the context of the ongoing biotechnology gold rush, you can think of the business as selling a very specific type of shovel that helps research groups develop their ideas for new therapies before they hit the lab and conduct (often very expensive and time-consuming) experiments. By using simulations first, researchers can cut down on some of the wasted effort that they might otherwise experience from dead ends in the process. So, it makes sense that everyone from academic research laboratories to big pharma has an interest in the company's products

Since it derives nearly half of its revenue from consulting services and the other half from software subscriptions, the company's revenue is highly recurring overall. 89% of its customers renewed their software subscription in FY2020, and its consulting services are increasingly in demand too. That's great news for investors seeking sustainable growth. To sweeten the pot even more, total revenue grew by 22% in the 2020 fiscal year to reach $41.6 million, its largest yet.

There's just one caveat to keep in mind: don't expect this stock to go to the moon overnight. Even though the company is reporting solid revenue growth, it isn't a start-up anymore. 

2. Premier

Providing healthcare is expensive in the U.S., and Premier (PINC 0.08%) is flourishing by helping healthcare systems to make more money. In short, Premier offers a mind-boggling plethora of services, like group purchasing contracts, direct sourcing, logistics analytics, capital planning, regulatory support, and supply chain optimization to name just a few. The uniting theme of these services is that they help customers cut costs and improve their margins. To accomplish this goal, it uses an army of supply chain experts and consultants equipped with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

Premier's customer base is more than 4,100 hospitals and healthcare systems strong, many of whom are eager to save money amid the economic strain of the pandemic. So, it's no surprise that its consolidated net revenue grew by 32% in the most recent quarter of FY2021, reaching $422.8 million. Most of the company's revenue comes from its supply chain services, which hospitals need in perpetuity. In sum, its business is quite safe from disruption in the short term.

If this sounds like it might be a good fit for your portfolio, you're in luck. Right now, Premier's stock is likely undervalued, as its trailing price to earnings (P/E) ratio of 13.7 is low compared to the average of the healthcare information and technology industry, which is around 163.

3. AbbVie

Pharma giant AbbVie (ABBV 1.08%) is an excellent option for anyone interested in getting direct financial exposure to the drug development process. AbbVie's lineup includes Humira, which is one of the world's best selling drugs, netting it nearly $20 billion in 2019 alone. But, it also has plenty of other projects in the works, some of which will be heading to commercialization in the next few years if everything goes according to plan. Most recently, it got a pair of new regulatory approvals from the European Commission for Rinvoq, an arthritis drug. Thus, its near-term growth prospects are good, especially considering that other approvals are on the way. 

In the long term, the company's success with Humira will likely be supplanted by a mosaic of other revenue streams, including further development of drugs like Rinvoq. That isn't to say that investors will need to wait for AbbVie's projects to advance before they see the stock grow, though. Its quarterly revenue grew by a stunning 59.2% year over year per its latest earnings report. And, since it also makes in-demand treatments like Botox, it's safe to say that it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

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Stocks Mentioned

Premier, Inc. Stock Quote
Premier, Inc.
$36.31 (0.08%) $0.03
AbbVie Inc. Stock Quote
AbbVie Inc.
$154.14 (1.08%) $1.65
Simulations Plus Stock Quote
Simulations Plus
$48.63 (1.12%) $0.54

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

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