The 3 Biggest US Health Care Stocks to Watch Right Now
With new acquisitions taking place in the health care industry, these are the three biggest stocks from pharma giants to drug makers to watch (and invest in) right now.
1. UnitedHealth Group, Inc. (NYSE:UNH)
UnitedHealth is currently up 4 percent and hit a record high of $123.76 after the company announced that it will be purchasing the pharmacy benefit manager Catamaran Corp (NASDAQ:CTRX) in a deal valued at approximately $12.8 billion.
Alongside UnitedHealth’s growth, CTRXs stock also rose 24.6 percent to its own all-time record peak of $60.24.
According to Schaeffer’s Investment Research, if UnitedHealth continues with this momentum, another round of “upbeat analyst attention” could be on the horizon. Currently, the 12-month price target for UNH sits are $127.19 –just 3.5 percent from its current perch at $122.87.
2. Horizon Pharma PLC (NASDAQ:HZNP)
Horizon’s portfolio for treating genetic disorders will expand just a little more with its $1.1 billion purchase of Hyperion Therapeutics, Inc (NASDAQ:HPTX).
This equates to about $46 per share of HPTX, which closed Friday at $42.74. HZNP is up 14.2 percent out of the gate – and hit its highest perch on record of $25.50 in early trading. However, the stock has already put in a strong showing in 2015 – thanks in part to a stellar quarterly earnings report in late February, according to Schaeffer’s Investment Research – tacking on 93 percent to trade at $24.91.
According to the research firm, five analysts have levied a “strong buy” rating toward the equity, versus one “hold” and not a single “sell.”
3. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NYSE:TEVA)
The pharma group announced that it will acquire biotherapeutic firm Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ASPX) for about $3.2 billion in cash (or $101 per share of ASPX).
This represents a roughly 42.4 percent premium to the latter's close at $70.91 on Friday. Technically speaking shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd have put in a solid performance this month, adding 10 percent thus far.
Additionally, the stock hit a multi-year peak last Monday, but was last seen trading at $62.79. In the options pits, put buying has picked up speed in recent weeks. Specifically, TEVA's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio has jumped to 0.74 from 0.06 over the past two weeks, and now ranks in the 69th annual percentile.
Dexcom: changing the lives of people with type 1 diabetes
It is estimated that 9.3% of adults around the world are living with type 1 diabetes, which amounts to a total of 463 million people. A further 1.1 million children and adolescents under the age of 20 are living with the condition.
Unlike the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, where the body still produces insulin and symptoms develop slowly, people with type 1 diabetes need regular insulin injections or pumps, and must monitor their sugar levels frequently.
In recent years a number of remote glucose monitoring systems have become available that patients can use at home. These work with a sensor, usually placed under the skin, that measures glucose levels every few minutes. This information is then transmitted wirelessly to a device like a smartphone or tablet, which can then be shared with their clinician.
British actress Nina Wadia's son Aidan, 14, has type 1 diabetes, and has been managing his condition using Dexcom, a glucose monitoring system used by patients all over the world. Here Wadia explains how Dexcom has improved their lives.
As a parent of someone with type 1 diabetes, what is your day-to-day life like?
Being able to take a breath, think and pivot constantly without getting frustrated becomes an essential mindset because sometimes it feels like each day is determined to be different from the day before. Whatever worked yesterday is going to misfire today.
Which areas of yours and Aidan’s life are most impacted by diabetes?
The one thing that you have to fight hard to reclaim is spontaneity, especially when it comes to food and exercise. It’s only when this is taken do you realise how essential each one is. You can be flexible and there are no real limits, but only in the sense that a great athlete can be flexible without limits because they’ve trained super hard to be that way. So we’ve all had to become athletes when it comes to being spontaneous.
How has Dexcom helped you and Aidan?
Dexcom has brought future science fiction to real life today. The continuous glucose monitoring system is tiny, sits discreetly on his body and gives him a ten-day breather between sensor changes, so it's goodbye finger-pricking seven times daily.
Dexcom is totally active at a grass roots level and for Diabetes Awareness has pledged to donate £2,000 if #DexcomDiabetesStories and/or #DexcomWarriorStories is shared 200 times! I’ll be sharing more on social media and would love to hear how other families are winning their fights.
Maybe most importantly Dexcom is trying to introduce a reimbursement programme for type 1 diabetes patients which will give greater access to modern, life changing hi-tech. I want to spread the word on the importance of accessing it through this campaign.
If you compared your life today with how it was before Aidan was using Dexcom, what has changed?
It's always working, which lets him take his mind off diabetes for longer stretches. It also lets me get off his back. We both receive alerts so I no longer have to pester him by asking him what his number is, and especially importantly, I don’t have to wake him at night to prick his finger if I’m worried. Dexcom gave us back our sleep!