#4: Boston Scientific
Boston Scientific (BSX) manufacturers a wide array of medical devices for use in cardiovascular treatments, diagnostic tests, women’s health and other areas.
Like many of the stocks on this list, BSX is a turnaround story with pretty ugly long-term returns but a heck of a pop in 2013. Shares are down about 70% from their all-time highs in 2004 and still remain slightly below pre-recession levels, but a combination of cost-cutting and industrywide trends have conspired to lift the stock.
A 2011 restructuring strategy and subsequent job cuts have helped improve margins, and at the same time investors are very optimistic about the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) providing greater access to Boston Scientific devices. After all, if more people have more health insurance, then this medical device stock will have more “customers.”
Boston Scientific is expected to be soundly profitable in 2013 after a few years of losses, and investors are taking note. Throw in the fact that healthcare is one of the few sectors of the American economy that is reasonably recession-proof, and you have a strong case for BSX stock.