The top healthcare stocks to watch in 2021

With the current global pandemic, more attention has been put on healthcare stocks than ever, and this extra attention has resulted in some significant reverberations on the global stock market. As the pandemic goes on developments in healthcare technology will continue to be in high demand, which could translate to success on the stock market for a savvy investor. With this in mind, here are some healthcare stocks to keep an eye on in 2021.

Biogen Inc.

Biogen Inc. is a Massachusetts-based multinational biotechnology company, specializing in the discovering, developing, and delivering therapies for the treatment of neurological diseases to patients worldwide. Currently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is deliberating on the safety of Biogen’s latest Alzehimer’s drug, which if approved could help the company stand out after generic competition eroded its sclerosis business.

While the company faced some controversy in March 2020 for inadvertently spreading Covid-19 at a conference it hosted, that does not seem to have impacted its price on the stock market significantly, and it is currently trading at $278. Biogen also enjoys a low 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 11.21 at the time of writing, which indicates that investors are paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc,

Bio-Rad Laboratories is an American developer and manufacturer of specialised technological products for the life science research and clinical diagnostics markets, developing and producing research products and analytical tools for handling complex chemicals.

Recently Bio-Rad was granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval from the FDA for a COVID, influenza A, and influenza B RT-PCR syndromic multiplex test. The FDA has also granted the company EUA approval for a COVID RT-PCR assay kit, Much like Biogen, Bio-Rad has a low 12-month trailing P/E ratio at 5.67, and is currently trading at $662.35, having been steadily increasing in price over 2020.

CVS Health Corp.

CVS Health is an American integrated pharmacy healthcare provider, providing services such as pharmacy benefit management, mail order delivery, and retail sales as well as disease management programs and retail clinics.CVS Health is America’s largest chain pharmacy retailer, with control of nearly 25% of the market, and has a reputation as a solid dividend stock with stable and consistent payments.

While competition from Amazon’s new online pharmacy could affect CVS Health’s position on the stock market, the large role the company plays in administering the Covid-19 vaccine lends it an additional trick up its sleeve. CVS Health is currently trading at $74.21, with a P/E ratio of 12.25, and has been enjoying an increase in price since November 2020.

Intuitive Surgical

Intuitive Surgical is an American corporation that develops, manufactures, and markets robotic products designed to improve clinical outcomes of patients through minimally invasive surgery. The company’s da Vinci robotic surgical system has been used in more than 7.2 million procedures since its introduction in 1999, and has even enjoyed some viral social media buzz through a video that demonstrated its precision.

Intuitive Surgical is part of the NASDAQ-100 and S&P 500, and while Covid-19 has inevitably reduced the number of elective surgeries taking place the company is currently trading at $807.81 and enjoyed consistent growth over 2020 after an initial dip in March- something which is likely to be boosted in 2021 once the Covid-19 vaccine rolls out to more people.

Teladoc Health

Teladoc Health is an American multinational telemedicine and virtual healthcare company, providing services such as telehealth (healthcare services delivered remotely through digital smart hubs), medical opinions, AI and analytics, and licensable platform services.

The Covid-19 pandemic has increased demand for telehealth solutions and encouraged development of AI technology and remote healthcare, which has caused Teladoc Health’s price to steadily increase over 2020 and into 2021. The company is currently trading at $293.66, and after acquiring applied health-signals company Livongo Health in November 2020 it is likely to see continued financial success.

UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group is an American for-profit managed healthcare company, offering healthcare products and insurance services. In 2020, it was the second-largest healthcare company (behind CVS Health) by revenue with $257.1 billion, and the largest insurance company by Net Premiums, ranking 7th on the 2020 Fortune 500.

The company is currently trading at $328.24 with a P/E ratio of 20.48, and while it is currently on something of a decline the company’s size, stability, and dividend make it an attractive company to invest in on the stock market, and one that is poised to benefit greatly from the Biden administration in coming months.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Vertex Pharmaceuticals is an American biopharmaceutical company, investing in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious diseases. The company has a number of approved medicines for treating the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF), and also boasts a rapidly-expanding pipeline of genetic and cell therapies for diseases such as sickle cell disease and type 1 diabetes mellitus.

In January 2021 the FDA approved Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ supplemental new drug application for the drug Trikafta, the first triple combination therapy available to treat patients with the most common CF mutation. If the drug is approved on the action date of 8 June 2021, the drug will be approved for use on children from 6-11 years old, increasing its utility beyond patients 12 years and older. If the FDA approves this use of the drug it is likely to help Vertex’s position on the stock market, with the company currently trading at $213.98 with a P/E ratio of 20.78.