The Port We Need In This Market Storm

Editor’s Note: Our experts here at cover a lot of investing topics and great stocks every week. To help you make sense of it all, every Wednesday we’re going to pick one of those stocks and use Magnifi Personal to compare it with its peers or competitors. Here we go…

When markets turn as volatile and uncertain as they’ve been this week, it’s a good idea to look for sectors you’d want to be invested in no matter where the markets go.

Healthcare is one such sector.

It encompasses two contrasting types of businesses. The first is boring, large-cap stocks in the pharmaceutical and healthcare services sectors. These traditionally provide some defensive qualities if the economy starts to slow. That’s true because a lot of healthcare spending is not dependent on cycles in the economy. People get sick no matter the economy.

The more exciting part of the healthcare sector is very growth-oriented, with high valuation multiples. This is the biotechnology sector, with exciting fields like genomics, CRSPR gene-editing machines, and cures for cancer.

And even beyond biotech, there are also other growth segments in this healthcare sector, including medical data businesses and medical equipment suppliers. All of these are riding long-term trends such as aging and increased healthcare spending, along with big data and AI.

The safer pharma sector looks especially enticing for more conservative investors. Vincent Deluard, strategist at StoneX, has run numbers showing pharmaceuticals have maintained 15% to 20% margins over the past 40 years. He told the Financial Times: “They have almost no exposure to energy and basic material costs: their main expenses are research and development, marketing and lobbying… Inflation in drugs prices and medical services has been twice that of the broad consumer price index in the past 40 years.”

But for the adventurous among you, putting money into the more exciting biotech small caps may be the way to go. Valuations are cheap, with a substantial upside.

So, I asked Magnifi Personal to compare an ETF from each healthcare segment - pharma and biotech. I didn’t even have to find the right ETFs. Continue reading "The Port We Need In This Market Storm"

Inexpensive Stocks: Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Cohort

The entire pharmaceutical supply chain cohort, specifically, McKesson (MCK), Cardinal Health (CAH), CVS Health (CVS) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) are all near multi-year lows despite still posting growth albeit slow with healthy balance sheets and growing dividends. This cohort has been faced with several headwinds that have negatively impacted the growth, and the changing marketplace conditions have plagued these stocks. The political backdrop has been a major headwind for the entire pharmaceutical supply chain including drug manufacturers, pharmaceutical wholesalers, and pharmacies/pharmacy benefit managers. Compounding the political climate, the drug pricing debate continues to rage on throughout political and social media circles weighing on the overarching sector. This backdrop erodes the pricing power of drugs that ultimately move from drug manufacturers to patients with insurers and other middlemen playing roles in the supply chain web.

In an effort to address these headwinds and restore growth, companies within this cohort have made bold moves such as CVS acquiring Aetna (AET) to form a colossus bumper-to-bumper healthcare company. Cardinal Health shelled out $6.1 billion to acquire Medtronic's Patient Care, Deep Vein Thrombosis, and Nutritional Insufficiency business. McKesson has made a string of acquisitions over the past two years deploying $1.2 billion for Biologics, $2.1 billion for Rexall and $525 million for Vantage Oncology in 2016. This was followed by a $1.1 billion acquisition of CoverMyMeds, undisclosed acquisition costs for RxCrossroads and in 2017. Thus far in 2018, McKesson acquired Medical Specialty Distributors. Continue reading "Inexpensive Stocks: Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Cohort"

Immunotherapy ETF Heats Up

Noah Kiedrowski - Contributor - Biotech - Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy Heats Up

The Immunotherapy space has ushered in a new class of therapies to combat a variety of diseases, most notably cancer. Immunotherapy has been emerging from the backdrop of oncology research for years most notably from smaller companies such as Dendreon, Kite Pharma and Juno Therapeutics as leaders in the space. Dendreon was first-to-market with its activated cellular therapy, Provenge® in 2010 followed by a 7-year gap until Novartis’ Kymriah® was approved in August of 2017 which was shortly followed up by the approval of Kite Pharma’s Yescata® in November of 2017.

Now, immunotherapy is at the forefront in oncology as a leading therapeutic which has been shown to cure cancer in previously untreatable patients. Immunotherapy ushers in a new class of promising therapies by harnessing the body’s immune system to recognize and eradicate debilitating diseases, specifically cancer. Immunotherapy has been shown to have a favorable side effect profile and best-in-class efficacy across many different disease states. These therapies may provide a powerful technology to contend with a host of diseases, and in a future state, may potentially serve as a preventative technology similar to a traditional vaccine. Immunotherapy has evolved into many different classifications with differing modalities over the past several years, which has given rise to a growing number mid and small-cap biotechnology companies. In late 2015, The Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF (NASDAQ:CNCR) and provides investors with an opportunity to invest in this unique cohort.

Immunotherapy – The Science

Generally speaking, cancer is immuno-tolerant, meaning these cancerous cells evade the surveillance mechanisms of the immune system and thus persist, proliferate and manifest disease within the host. The immune system cannot distinguish cancerous cells from normal host cells thus giving rise to malignancy and metastasis. Continue reading "Immunotherapy ETF Heats Up"

Issue #15: Healthcare Earnings, Cardinal Health/Becton Dickinson Acquisitions and Clinical Trial Updates

INO Health & Biotech Stock Guide

Issue #15


Healthcare sector earnings are underway and thus far overall earnings have been robust overall with pockets of softness. From the health insurer side, UnitedHealth (UNH) beat on both EPS and revenue with revenue coming in at a 9.4% year-over-year growth. From the pharmaceutical supply chain, Cardinal Health (CAH) beat on EPS, missed on revenue and disappointed investors when they offered a softer outlook for fiscal 2017 and 2018. This set off a sell-off in the pharmaceutical supply chain stocks. In the biotech space, AbbVie (ABBV) beat on both EPS and revenue with revenue coming in at 9.7% year-over-year growth, Celgene (CELG) beat on EPS and missed on revenue, however revenue came in at a 17.9% increase year-over-year, Regeneron (REGN) missed on EPS, but beat on revenue with a 10% year-over-year growth, Amgen (AMGN) beat on EPS however missed on revenue with a year-over-year decline of 1.3%. In the pharmacy and PBM side, CVS Health (CVS) beat on both EPS and revenue with a 3.0% year-over-year increase and Walgreens (WBA) met EPS and missed on revenue with a year-over-year decline of 2.4%. As Q1 comes to a close, it appears the healthcare cohort has some softness in the pharmacy and pharmaceutical supply chain spaces however biotech and health insurers have posted robust revenue growth.

Continue reading "Issue #15: Healthcare Earnings, Cardinal Health/Becton Dickinson Acquisitions and Clinical Trial Updates"

Issue #14: Walgreen and Rite Aid Deal, Eli Lily and Incyte Fail and NASH Market Heating Up

INO Health & Biotech Stock Guide

Issue #14


The proposed Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) and Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) deal continues to be drawn out and increasingly tumultuous between the companies involved and federal regulators. Recently,  Rite Aid and Fred's Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED) shares dropped amid talk the Federal Trade Commission is leaning towards filing a lawsuit seeking to block Walgreens' planned acquisition of Rite Aid. In December of 2016, the companies announced an agreement to sell 865 stores to Fred’s for $950 million in cash. Earlier this year, Walgreens and Rite Aid agreed to divest more stores, boosting the number to 1,200 and to reduce their merger price.

Continue reading "Issue #14: Walgreen and Rite Aid Deal, Eli Lily and Incyte Fail and NASH Market Heating Up"