15 Healthcare Stocks that Analysts Love in 2018

Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 by MarketBeat Staff

There are more than 200 healthcare companies traded on public markets. Given the sheer number of pharmaceutical companies, medical research firms, hospital systems and other healthcare stocks, it can be hard to identify which healthcare companies are going to outperform the market.

Fortunately, Wall Street's brightest minds have already done this for us. Every year, analyst issue approximately 3,000 distinct recommendations for healthcare companies. Analysts don't always get their "buy" ratings right, but it's worth taking a hard look when several analysts from different brokerages and research firm are giving "strong buy" and "buy" ratings to the same healthcare stock.

This slide show lists the 15 healthcare companies that have the highest average analyst recommendations from Wall Street's equities research analysts over the last 12 months.

#1 - AxoGen (NASDAQ:AXGN)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 7 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $44.6667 (19.1% Upside)

AxoGen logoAxoGen, Inc. develops and markets surgical solutions for peripheral nerve injuries. The company's surgical solutions include Avance Nerve Graft, an off-the-shelf processed human nerve allograft for bridging severed nerves without the comorbidities associated with a second surgical site; AxoGuard Nerve Connector, a porcine submucosa extracellular matrix (ECM) coaptation aid for tensionless repair of severed nerves; and AxoGuard Nerve Protector, a porcine submucosa ECM product that is used to wrap and protect damaged peripheral nerves, as well as reinforces the nerve reconstruction while preventing soft tissue attachments. Its solutions also comprise Avive Soft Tissue Membrane, a minimally processed human umbilical cord membrane that can be used as a resorbable soft tissue covering to separate tissues and modulate inflammation in the surgical bed. In addition, the company offers AcroVal neurosensory and motor testing system, which consists of AcroGrip for use in hand grip strength measurement; AcroPinch for measuring pinch strength; and Pressure-Specified Sensory Device, a somatosensory evaluation and measurement device. Further, it provides AxoTouch two point discriminator, a tool that is used for measuring the innervation density of surface area of the skin. The company provides its products to hospitals, surgery centers, and military hospitals in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and other European countries, and internationally. AxoGen, Inc. is headquartered in Alachua, Florida.

#2 - Vistagen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VTGN)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $10.00 (629.9% Upside)

Vistagen Therapeutics logoVistaGen Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, engages in developing and commercializing medicines for depression and other central nervous system (CNS) disorders. The company's lead product candidate is AV-101, which is in Phase II development stage, an adjunctive treatment used for major depressive disorder. It also focuses on potential commercial applications of its human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) technology platform to discover, rescue, develop, and commercialize new chemical entities (NCEs) for CNS and other diseases; and regenerative medicine involving hPSC-derived blood, cartilage, heart, and liver cells. In addition, the company develops CardioSafe 3D, an in vitro cardiac bioassay system for predicting human heart toxicity of drug rescue NCEs. VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. has licensing, sublicensing, and collaboration agreements with BlueRock Therapeutics, LP; U.S. National Institutes of Health; Cato Research Ltd.; and University Health Network. The company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.

#3 - BioXcel Therapeutics (NASDAQ:BTAI)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 5 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $20.40 (164.6% Upside)

BioXcel Therapeutics logoBioXcel Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on novel artificial intelligence-based drug development in the fields of neuroscience and immuno-oncology in the United States. The company is involved in developing BXCL501, a sublingual thin film formulation of dexmedetomidine designed for acute treatment of agitation resulting from neurological and psychiatric disorders; and BXCL701, an immuno-oncology agent designed for the treatment of prostate and pancreatic cancers. It is also developing BXCL502, a novel approach to the treatment of symptoms resulting from neurological disorders; and BXCL702, an immuno-oncology agent for hematological malignancies. The company was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Branford, Connecticut. BioXcel Therapeutics, Inc. is a subsidiary of BioXcel Corporation.

#4 - Aridis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARDS)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $29.3333 (123.9% Upside)

Aridis Pharmaceuticals logoAridis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. engages in the discovery and development of targeted immunotherapy using fully human monoclonal antibodies, or mAbs, to treat life-threatening infections. Its products include AR-301, AR-105, AR-101, AR-401, AR-201, and AR-501. The company was founded by Eric J. Patzer and Vu L. Truong in 2003 and is headquartered in San Jose, CA.

#5 - Iterum Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ITRM)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $20.75 (227.8% Upside)

Iterum Therapeutics logoIterum Therapeutics plc, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, engages in developing anti-infectives for multi-drug resistant pathogens in Ireland and the United States. The company is developing sulopenem, a penem anti-infective compound with oral and IV formulations that is in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of adults in uncomplicated urinary tract infections, complicated urinary tract infections, and complicated intra-abdominal infections. Iterum Therapeutics plc was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.

#6 - Rubius Therapeutics (NASDAQ:RUBY)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $38.50 (64.7% Upside)

Rubius Therapeutics logoRubius Therapeutics, Inc. focuses on the development of red cell therapeutics (RCTs) for the treatment of patients with severe diseases through its rubius erythrocyte design cellular therapy platform. The company is developing various RCTs, such as RTX-134 for treatment of classic and moderate phenylketonuria; RTX-Uricase/URAT1 for treatment of chronic refractory gout; RTX-CBS for treatment of homocystinuria; RTX-OxOx for the treatment of second-line hyperoxaluria; and RTX-ALAD for the treatment of acute intermittent porphyria. It is also developing RTX-212 and RTX-4-1BBL for treatment of solid tumors; RTX-212 for hematological cancer; RTX-aAPC to treat solid and hematological cancers; and other product candidates for autoimmune disorders. The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

#7 - Liquidia Technologies (NASDAQ:LQDA)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $29.50 (30.0% Upside)

Liquidia Technologies logoThere is no company description available for Liquidia Technologies Inc.

#8 - Constellation Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CNST)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $19.50 (149.7% Upside)

Constellation Pharmaceuticals logoConstellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on discovering and developing therapeutics that address serious unmet medical needs in patients with cancers associated with abnormal gene expression or drug resistance. The company's lead product candidate CPI-1205 that is in Phase Ib/II clinical trials for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer in combination with androgen receptor signaling inhibitors, as well as for the treatment of solid tumors in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors. It is also developing CPI-0209, which is in preclinical trials for the treatment of solid tumors and/or hematological malignancies; and CPI-0610 that is in Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of patients with myelofibrosis in combination with ruxolitinib. The company was formerly known as Epigenetix, Inc. and changed its name to Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in March 2008. Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was founded in 2008 and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

#9 - Evelo Biosciences (NASDAQ:EVLO)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $25.50 (109.0% Upside)

Evelo Biosciences logoEvelo Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company, focuses on the development of monocolonal microbials for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer. It is involved in developing EDP1066 and EDP1815 for patients with psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis/crohn's colitis; and EDP1503 for the treatment of colorectal cancer, renal cell carcinoma, and melanoma, as well as patients who have relapsed on prior PD-1/L1 inhibitor treatment across multiple tumor types. The company was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

#10 - Aquestive Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AQST)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $28.3333 (61.9% Upside)

Aquestive Therapeutics logoAquestive Therapeutics, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, focuses on identifying, developing, and commercializing various products to address unmet medical needs. Its products are developed using its PharmFilm technology. The company's marketed products include Suboxone, a sublingual film formulation of buprenorphine and naloxone for the treatment of opioid dependence; and Zuplenz, an oral soluble film formulation of ondansetron antagonist for the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and post-operative recovery. Its proprietary product candidates that are in development comprise AQST-203, a buccally, an administered soluble film formulation of diazepam for the treatment of recurrent epileptic seizures; AQST-120, an oral soluble film formulation of clobazam for the treatment of seizures associated with a rare, intractable form of epilepsy; and AQST-117, an oral soluble film formulation of riluzole for the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The company's development products also include AQST-108, a sublingual film formulation of epinephrine for the treatment of anaphylaxis; AQST-305, a buccal film formulation of octreotide for the treatment of acromegaly and neuroendocrine tumors; APL-130277, a sublingual film formulation of apomorphine to treat episodic off-periods in Parkinson's disease; AQST-119, an oral soluble film formulation of tadalafil to treat erectile dysfunction; and AQST-306, a film formulation of edaravone. Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc. was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Warren, New Jersey.

#11 - Aptinyx (NASDAQ:APTX)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $32.3333 (13.6% Upside)

Aptinyx logoAptinyx Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel, proprietary, and synthetic small molecules for the treatment of brain and nervous system disorders. It is developing NYX-2925 that is in Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, as well as in Phase II exploratory clinical trial for fibromyalgia; and NYX-783, an NMDAr receptor that is in Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. The company has a collaboration agreement with Allergan plc. Aptinyx Inc. was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Evanston, Illinois.

#12 - Kezar Life Sciences (NASDAQ:KZR)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $26.50 (29.4% Upside)

Kezar Life Sciences logoKezar Life Sciences, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company, engages in the discovery and development of small molecule therapeutics to treat unmet needs in autoimmunity and cancer in the United States. Its lead product candidate, KZR-616, a selective immunoproteasome inhibitor that is in Phase 1b/2 clinical trials in lupus and lupus nephritis The company was incorporated in 2015 and is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.

#13 - Viking Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VKTX)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 7 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $27.6667 (45.7% Upside)

Viking Therapeutics logoViking Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development of novel therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders. Its lead clinical program, VK5211, is an orally available, non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator in Phase II development for the treatment of patients recovering from non-elective hip fracture surgery; in Phase I clinical trials for improving lean body mass; and in pre-clinical trial for improving bone mineral density, bone mineral content, bone strength, and other measures. The company is also developing VK2809, an orally available, tissue and receptor-subtype selective agonist of the thyroid hormone receptor beta, which is in a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of patients with hypercholesterolemia and fatty liver disease; and in a Phase I clinical trial to treat patients who suffer from glycogen storage disease type Ia. In addition, it is developing VK0214 for X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, which is in pre-clinical stage. Viking Therapeutics, Inc. was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

#14 - Neurocrine Biosciences (NASDAQ:NBIX)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 18 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $122.1111 (-0.4% Upside)

Neurocrine Biosciences logoNeurocrine Biosciences, Inc. operates as a product based bio-pharmaceutical company. It discovers, develops and intends to commercialize drugs for the treatment of neurological and endocrine related diseases and disorders. The company product includes INGREZZA. Neurocrine Biosciences was founded by Kevin C. Gorman and Wylie W. Vale on January 1992 and is headquartered in San Diego, CA.

#15 - Encompass Health (NYSE:EHC)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.9
Ratings Breakdown: 7 Buy Ratings, 1 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $73.00 (-5.5% Upside)

Encompass Health logoEncompass Health Corporation provides facility-based and home-based post-acute healthcare services in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Inpatient Rehabilitation, and Home Health and Hospice. The Inpatient Rehabilitation segment provides specialized rehabilitative treatment on an inpatient and outpatient basis to patients who are recovering from conditions, such as stroke and other neurological disorders, cardiac and pulmonary conditions, brain and spinal cord injuries, complex orthopedic conditions, and amputations. The Home Health and Hospice segment provides home health and hospice services primarily in the Southeast and Texas. Its home health services include a range of Medicare-certified home nursing services to adult patients in need of care comprising skilled nursing, medical social work, and home health aide services, as well as physical, occupational, speech therapy, and others. This segment's hospice services comprise in-home services to terminally ill patients and their families to address patients' physical needs, including pain control and symptom management, and to provide emotional and spiritual support. As of March 1, 2018, Encompass Health Corporation operated 127 hospitals, and 237 home health and hospice agencies in 36 states and Puerto Rico. The company was formerly known as HealthSouth Corporation and changed its name to Encompass Health Corporation in January 2018. Encompass Health Corporation was founded in 1983 and is based in Birmingham, Alabama.





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