The current, ultra-low interest rate environment will continue to fuel more stock buybacks this year, and dividend payments will continue to rise. So, persistently rising dividends and stock buybacks will also support the stock market, and it should resume its steady appreciation this year.
In this environment, our best defensive remains a strong offensive of fundamentally superior stocks. Since I target the best stocks with the best fundamentals, I expect to see those winners continue to rise and lead the market.
In particular, I’m still in favor of a few strong stocks in the healthcare sector. These stocks continue to be characterized by strong forecasted earnings and sales.
Here are three quality stocks to buy from the healthcare sector:
3 Healthcare Stocks to Buy: Inogen (INGN)
Inogen (INGN) earns a top spot in my book after posting double-digit sales and earnings growth for the fiscal first quarter. Compared with the year ago quarter, revenue climbed 42.8% to $33.8 million.
Meanwhile, net income improved 77% to $1.6 million, or 8 cents per share. Since analysts were looking for 7 cents per share in earnings, Inogen reported a healthy 14.3% earnings surprise.
Inogen also confirmed its full-year sales outlook of $133 million to $137 million, which translates to annual sales growth between 18.2% and 21.7%. Inogen is targeting annual earnings growth of 17.2% to 39.2%. INGN stock rose after the generally strong report. INGN is a moderately aggressive “buy.”
3 Healthcare Stocks to Buy: AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG)
AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG) remains a top stock because of its earnings and sales surged in the first quarter — and I look for that trend to continue in 2015.
AMAG Pharmaceuticals reported that product sales soared 342% year over year, which added to the 330% increase in total revenues. AMAG reported that earnings were $39.9 million, or $1.17 per share, up from last year’s loss of $3.9 million, or 33 cents per share.
AMAG management lifted guidance for full-year sales, now expecting between $395 million and $430 million, which is well above the current consensus estimate for $387.59 million in sales. AMAG stock is a moderately aggressive “buy.”
3 Healthcare Stocks to Buy: Centene (CNC)
Centene (CNC) once again earns a top spot as CNC stock continues to post solid earnings and sales growth. For the first quarter, Centene reported 79.3% annual earnings growth and 42% annual sales growth.
Centene posted earnings of 52 cents per share on $4.8 billion in sales, which beat the consensus earnings estimate for 48 cents per share. As a result, it’s no surprise that analysts have revised their earnings estimates higher for the second quarter, third quarter and fiscal year 2015.
For full-year 2015, Centene Corporation expects sales between $20.5 billion and $21 billion and earnings per share between $2.60 and $2.72. CNC is a conservative “buy.”
Louis Navellier is a renowned growth investor. He is the editor of five investing newsletters: Blue Chip Growth, Emerging Growth, Ultimate Growth, Family Trust and Platinum Growth. His most popular service, Blue Chip Growth, has a track record of beating the market 3:1 over the last 14 years. He uses a combination of quantitative and fundamental analysis to identify market-beating stocks. Mr. Navellier has made his proven formula accessible to investors via his free, online stock rating tool, PortfolioGrader.com. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.