3 Pharmaceutical Stocks to Buy for a Healthy Portfolio  

NYSE: ABT | Abbott Laboratories News, Ratings, and Charts

ABT – Novo Nordisk (NVO), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT) are three of the top pharmaceutical stocks. They also have very attractive valuations and long-term drivers with an aging population.

Most stock portfolios are highlighted by tech stocks and other growth-oriented stocks. Value stocks have clearly gone out of style while tech stocks are all the rage. However, pharmaceutical stocks are often overlooked.

Pharmaceutical stocks receive less attention than those in the tech sector largely because they create highly complex products that most investors do not want to take the time to understand. Add in the fact that it takes years for pharmaceutical drugs to move through the product pipeline and even more investors lose interest.

Take advantage of the fact that retail investors don’t want to perform deep dives into pharmaceutical companies, load up on the best stocks in this industry and you just might make a bundle of money. Here’s a look at three pharmaceutical stocks that might be worth adding to your portfolio: Novo Nordisk (NVO), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and Abbott Laboratories (ABT).

NVO

NVO has an A grade in the POWR Ratings. The stock has an A grade in the Quality component along with B grades in the Value, Sentiment, and Stability components. Click here to find out how NVO fares in the Momentum and Growth components of the POWR Ratings.

Of the 239 publicly traded companies in the Medical – Pharmaceuticals space, NVO is ranked fourth. Click here to learn more about the publicly traded companies in this space.

NVO is particularly intriguing as it has a reasonable forward P/E ratio of 23.85. This is a fairly low P/E especially because the stock is priced merely $4 below its 52-week high of $75.86. NVR’s latest quarterly earnings came in at an impressive 64 cents, beating the Street’s estimate of 59 cents per share. Though NVO revenue dipped 1% in terms of the Danish kroner, revenue was up 5% based on the constant exchange rate.

JNJ

JNJ has received plenty of attention in recent months as its coronavirus vaccine has been quite the success story. JNJ has an overall B POWR Rating with an A grade in the Stability component and B grades in the Quality and Sentiment components. Click here to find out how JNJ fares in the Value, Momentum, and Growth components of the POWR Ratings.

Of the 239 stocks in the Medical – Pharmaceuticals space, JNJ is ranked 10th. You can find out more about the stocks traded in this industry by clicking here.

Though the economy wasn’t exactly on fire in the fourth quarter JNJ’s sales popped more than 8% in that period of time, hitting $22.5 billion. Company executives stated pharmaceutical sales offset declining sales in the medical devices segment. JNJ has a forward P/E of 16.92, meaning it is fairly priced. The stock is likely to hold steady even if the economy is mired in a lengthy recession as JNJ’s products will be in demand no matter what.

ABT

ABT has a B grade in the POWR Ratings. The stock has an A grade in the growth component along with Bs in the Sentiment and Stability components. You can learn more about how ABT fares in the remaining POWR Ratings components by clicking here. Of the 239 publicly traded companies in the Medical – Pharmaceuticals space, ABT is ranked 9th. Click here to learn more about the stocks in the Medical – Pharmaceuticals segment.

ABT’s forward P/E of 23.30 is reasonable, especially when you consider the stock is priced a mere $11 below its 52-week high of $128.54. The top analysts have established an average price target of $134.88 for the stock. If ABT reaches this price, it will have increased by 10%. The high analyst price target for the stock is $158 while the low is $111.

ABT guidance has set the bar quite high with projected earnings of $5 per share. Most analysts did not believe ABT would hit these earnings per share until ’23 or beyond. Add in the fact that ABT has nearly a half-century of dividend hikes and there is even more reason to consider adding this stock to your portfolio.

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ABT shares rose $0.51 (+0.43%) in premarket trading Friday. Year-to-date, ABT has gained 8.45%, versus a 4.62% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.


About the Author: Patrick Ryan


Patrick Ryan has more than a dozen years of investing experience with a focus on information technology, consumer and entertainment sectors. In addition to working for StockNews, Patrick has also written for Wealth Authority and Fallon Wealth Management. More...


More Resources for the Stocks in this Article

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