15 Healthcare Stocks that Analysts Love in 2018


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 - BioLife Solutions (NASDAQ:BLFS)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 3 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $15.50 (-23.1% Upside)

BioLife Solutions logoBioLife Solutions, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets patented tissue hypothermic storage and cryopreservation freeze media products for cells, tissues, and organs in the United States. Its products are serum-free and protein-free solutions, which are formulated to reduce preservation-induced, and delayed-onset cell damage and death. The company offers HypoThermosol FRS, a hypothermic storage and shipping media product to mitigate temperature-induced molecular cell stress responses that occur during chilling and re-warming of biologics, intermediate products, and final cell products intended for research and clinical applications; and CryoStor cryopreservation freeze media products to mitigate temperature-induced molecular cell stress responses during freezing and thawing. It also provides BloodStor freeze media products, such as BloodStor 55-5 and BloodStor 100 for cryopreservation of stem and other cells isolated from umbilical cord and peripheral blood, and bone marrow; and cell thawing media, which offers Dextran and saline for washing cryopreserved cells and tissues to dilute or remove cryoprotectants. In addition, the company provides custom product formulation and packaging services; and contract aseptic manufacturing formulation, filling, and finishing services for liquid media products. It markets its products to the regenerative medicine, bio-banking, and drug discovery markets, including hospital-based stem cell transplant centers, pharmaceutical companies, cord blood and adult stem cell banks, and hair transplant centers, as well as suppliers of cells to the drug discovery, toxicology testing, and diagnostic markets. The company markets and sells its products directly using its sales force, as well as through biolifesolutions.com; and through various regional distributors. BioLife Solutions, Inc. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Bothell, Washington.

#2 - AxoGen, Inc Common Stock (NASDAQ:AXGN)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 8 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $41.2857 (-24.9% Upside)

AxoGen, Inc Common Stock 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.

#3 - Neurocrine Biosciences (NASDAQ:NBIX)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 13 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $104.6154 (1.4% Upside)

Neurocrine Biosciences logoNeurocrine Biosciences, Inc. discovers and develops pharmaceuticals for the treatment of neurological and endocrine-related diseases and disorders in the United States. The company's lead products include INGREZZA (valbenazine), a vesicular monoamine transporter 2 inhibitor (VMAT2), which is used for the treatment of movement disorders; elagolix, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist that is in Phase III clinical trial for use in women's health; and opicapone, a catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitor, which is in Phase III clinical trial that is used for in adjunct therapy and preparations of levodopa/DOPA decarboxylase inhibitors for adult patients with Parkinson's disease. It is also developing NBI-74788, which is in Phase II clinical trial that is used for the treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia. In addition, the company's research programs comprise VMAT2 Inhibitors for movement disorders, bipolar disorders, and schizophrenia; and G Protein-Coupled Receptors and Ion Channels for epilepsy, essential tremor, pain, dystonia, and other indications. It has collaborations and agreements with AbbVie Inc. to develop and commercialize elagolix and GnRH antagonists for women's and men's health; Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation to develop and commercialize INGREZZA for movement disorders; and BIAL ? Portela & Ca, S.A. to develop and commercialize opicapone for the treatment of human diseases and conditions, including Parkinson's disease. Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

#4 - 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 (85.3% 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.

#5 - 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 (640.7% 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 small molecule 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.

#6 - Xeris Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:XERS)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $23.6667 (20.9% Upside)

Xeris Pharmaceuticals logoThere is no company description available for Xeris Pharmaceuticals Inc.

#7 - 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 (55.6% Upside)

Aptinyx logoThere is no company description available for Aptinyx Inc.

#8 - 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 (59.1% 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.

#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 (82.8% 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 - Magenta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGTA)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $19.3333 (38.0% Upside)

Magenta Therapeutics logoMagenta Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, engages in developing medicines to bring the curative power of bone marrow transplant to patients. It is developing C100, C200, and C300 targeted antibody-drug conjugates for transplant conditioning; MGTA-145, a stem cell mobilization product candidate to control stem cell mobilization; MGTA-456, an allogeneic stem cell therapy to control stem cell growth; E478, a small molecule aryl hydrocarbon receptor antagonist for the expansion of gene-modified stem cells; and G100, an ADC program to prevent acute graft and host diseases. The company was formerly known as HSCTCo Therapeutics, Inc. and changed its name to Magenta Therapeutics, Inc. in February 2016. Magenta Therapeutics, Inc. was incorporated in 2015 and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

#11 - 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 (148.5% 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.

#12 - Avrobio (NASDAQ:AVRO)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $38.3333 (13.0% Upside)

Avrobio logoAVROBIO, Inc., a clinical stage gene therapy company, focuses on developing potentially curative ex vivo lentiviral-based gene therapies to treat rare diseases following a single dose. It lead product candidate in AVR-RD-01, which is in Phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of Fabry disease. The company is also developing AVR-RD-02 for the treatment of Gaucher disease; AVR-RD-03 for the treatment of Pompe disease; and AVR-RD-04 for the treatment of cystinosis. AVROBIO, Inc. was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

#13 - Homology Medicines (NASDAQ:FIXX)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $30.6667 (47.0% Upside)

Homology Medicines logoHomology Medicines, Inc., a genetic medicines company, focuses on translating proprietary gene editing and gene therapy technologies into novel treatments for patients with rare diseases. Its proprietary platform is designed to utilize its human hematopoietic stem cell derived adeno-associated virus vectors (AAVHSCs) to deliver genetic medicines in vivo either through a gene therapy or nuclease-free gene editing modality across a range of genetic disorders. The company's various set of AAVHSCs allows company to target, via a single intravenous injection, a range of disease-relevant tissues, including the liver, central nervous system, bone marrow, lung, muscle and eye, across modalities?gene editing and gene therapy. Homology Medicines, Inc. was founded in 2015 and is based in Bedford, Massachusetts.

#14 - Scholar Rock (NASDAQ:SRRK)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $27.3333 (79.2% Upside)

Scholar Rock logoThere is no company description available for Scholar Rock Holding Corp.

#15 - Encompass Health (NYSE:EHC)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.8
Ratings Breakdown: 6 Buy Ratings, 2 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $67.3333 (-2.9% 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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