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.