15 Healthcare Stocks that Analysts Love in 2018

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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: $7.00 (-2.9% Upside)

Biolife Solutions logoBioLife Solutions, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets patented hypothermic storage and cryopreservation solutions for cells and tissues in the United States. Its products are serum-free and protein-free solutions, which are formulated to reduce preservation-induced, 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, which are designed 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; contract aseptic manufacturing formulation, fill, and finish services of liquid media products; and precision thermal packaging products and cloud-hosted Web applications. It markets its products to the regenerative medicine, bio-banking, drug discovery markets, comprising hospital-based stem cell transplant centers, pharmaceutical companies, cord blood and adult stem cell banks, hair transplant centers, and suppliers of cells to the drug discovery, toxicology testing, and diagnostic markets. BioLife Solutions, Inc. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Bothell, Washington.

#2 - BioXcel Therapeutics (NASDAQ:BTAI)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $19.25 (152.3% 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.

#3 - resTORbio (NASDAQ:TORC)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $29.25 (241.3% Upside)

resTORbio logoresTORbio, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics for the treatment of aging-related diseases. Its lead program is targeting the selective inhibition of TORC1, an evolutionary conserved pathway that contributes to the decline in function of multiple organ systems, including the immune, cardiac, and neurologic systems. The company's lead drug candidate RTB101 is a selective, orally administered, TORC1 inhibitor, which is being tested in a Phase 2b clinical trial as a first in-class immunotherapy for reducing the incidence of respiratory tract infections in the elderly by enhancing the function of the immune system. It also intends to develop RTB101 for additional aging-related indications, such as heart failure or neurodegenerative diseases. The company was founded in 2016 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts. resTORbio, Inc. is a subsidiary of PureTech Health plc.

#4 - 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 (53.3% Upside)

Homology Medicines logoThere is no company description available for Homology Medicines Inc.

#5 - AxoGen (NASDAQ:AXGN)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 8 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $33.1429 (-14.9% 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.

#6 - pSivida (NASDAQ:EYPT)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 7 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $7.2857 (207.4% Upside)

pSivida logopSivida Corp. develops sustained-release drug-delivery products for the treatment of chronic eye diseases in the United States and the United Kingdom. It offers ILUVIEN, an injectable, sustained-release micro-insert for use in treating vision impairment associated with diabetic macular edema; and Retisert for the treatment of posterior segment uveitis. The company is also developing Durasert, an injectable, sustained-release micro-insert, which is in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of chronic non-infectious uveitis affecting the posterior segment of the eye. It is also developing Durasert, which is in pre-clinical trials for the treatment of posterior segment uveitis; steroid implant for severe knee osteoarthritis; and TKI Insert, an injectable, bioerodible, sustained-release Durasert insert delivering a tyrosine kinase inhibitor for treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration. The company has strategic collaborations with Alimera Sciences, Inc.; Pfizer, Inc.; Bausch & Lomb Incorporated; Enigma Therapeutics Limited; and Nicox S.A. pSivida Corp. was founded in 1987 and is based in Watertown, Massachusetts.

#7 - Iovance Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ:IOVA)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 9 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $20.9375 (41.0% Upside)

Iovance Biotherapeutics logoIovance Biotherapeutics, Inc., formerly Lion Biotechnologies, Inc., is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapy products designed to harness the power of a patient's own immune system to eradicate cancer cells. The Company's lead program is an adoptive cell therapy utilizing tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, which are T cells derived from patients' tumors, for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. As of December 31, 2016, it had an on-going Phase II clinical trial of its lead product candidate, LN-144, TIL for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. The Company is developing LN-145 to treat cervical and head and neck cancers. It is collaborating with the National Cancer Institute to evaluate unmodified TIL in other solid tumor indications, such as ocular melanoma, bladder, breast and lung cancer. It is collaborating with the NCI to evaluate TIL in combination with the checkpoint inhibitor, Keytruda.

#8 - 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: $95.2308 (21.8% 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.

#9 - Vericel (NASDAQ:VCEL)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.8
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 1 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $14.25 (19.2% Upside)

Vericel logoVericel Corporation, a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company, researches, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells patient-specific expanded cellular therapies to repair and regenerate damaged tissues and organs. It markets autologous cell therapy products, including MACI, an autologous cellularized scaffold product for the repair of symptomatic, and single or multiple full-thickness cartilage defects of the knee; and Carticel, an autologous chondrocyte implant for the repair of symptomatic cartilage defects of the femoral condyle caused by acute or repetitive trauma in patients that have inadequate response to a prior arthroscopic or other surgical repair procedure. The company also markets Epicel, a permanent skin replacement humanitarian use device for the treatment of patients with deep-dermal or full-thickness burns. In addition, it develops ixmyelocel-T, a patient-specific multicellular therapy that has completed Phase IIb clinical trial for the treatment of advanced heart failure due to ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy. The company was formerly known as Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. Vericel Corporation was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

#10 - UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 24 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $256.6087 (9.2% Upside)

UnitedHealth Group logoUnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health care company in the United States. It operates through four segments: UnitedHealthcare, OptumHealth, OptumInsight, and OptumRx. The UnitedHealthcare segment offers consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services for national employers, public sector employers, mid-sized employers, small businesses, and individuals; health care coverage, and health and well-being services to individuals age 50 and older, addressing their needs for preventive and acute health care services, as well as services dealing with chronic disease and other specialized issues for older individuals; and Medicaid plans, Children's Health Insurance Program, and health care programs; and health and dental benefits. The OptumHealth segment provides access to networks of care provider specialists, health management services, care delivery, consumer engagement, and financial services. This segment serves individuals through programs offered by employers, payers, government entities, and directly with the care delivery systems. The OptumInsight segment offers software and information products, advisory consulting arrangements, and services outsourcing contracts to hospital systems, physicians, health plans, governments, life sciences companies, and other organizations. The OptumRx segment provides pharmacy care services and programs, including retail network contracting, home delivery and specialty pharmacy, and purchasing and clinical, as well as develops programs in areas, such as step therapy, formulary management, drug adherence, and disease/drug therapy management. UnitedHealth Group Incorporated was founded in 1974 and is based in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

#11 - Align Technology (NASDAQ:ALGN)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.8
Ratings Breakdown: 11 Buy Ratings, 3 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $254.1429 (3.5% Upside)

Align Technology logoAlign Technology, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets a system of clear aligner therapy, intraoral scanners, and computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) digital services. The company's Clear Aligner segment offers Invisalign Full, a treatment used for a range of malocclusion; Invisalign Teen treatment that addresses orthodontic needs of teenage patients, such as compliance indicators, compensation for tooth eruption, and six free single arch replacement aligners; and Invisalign Assist treatment for anterior alignment and aesthetically-oriented cases. It also provides Invisalign Express (10 and 5) and Invisalign Lite/i7 treatments for orthodontic cases, non-comprehensive treatment relapse cases, or straightening prior to restorative or cosmetic treatments; Invisalign Go, a solution for general practitioner dentists (GPs) to identify and treat patients with mild malocclusion; SmileDirectClub aligners for minor tooth movement; custom clear aligner retainers used to maintain tooth position and correct minor relapse; and SmartTrack, a custom-engineered material that delivers force for orthodontic tooth movements. The company's Scanners and Services segment offers iTero Scanner, a single hardware platform with software options for restorative or orthodontic procedures; and Restorative software for iTero, a software for GPs, prosthodontists, periodontists, and oral surgeons. It also provides Orthodontic software for iTero, a software for orthodontists for digital records storage, orthodontic diagnosis, Invisalign digital impression submission, and for the fabrication of printed models and retainers; CAD/CAM services, such as iTero Models and Dies, OrthoCAD iCast, and OrthoCAD iRecord; and Invisalign outcome simulator, a chair-side and cloud-based application for the iTero scanner, as well as third party scanners and digital scans for Invisalign treatment submission. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

#12 - Magellan Health (NASDAQ:MGLN)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.8
Ratings Breakdown: 3 Buy Ratings, 1 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $90.6667 (-2.2% Upside)

Magellan Health logoMagellan Health, Inc. provides healthcare management services in the United States. It operates in Healthcare and Pharmacy Management segments. The Healthcare segment offers carve-out management services for behavioral health; employee assistance plans (EAP); and other areas of specialty healthcare, including diagnostic imaging, musculoskeletal management, cardiac, and physical medicine for health plans, care organizations, and employers. It also contracts with local, state, and federal governmental agencies to provide services to recipients under Medicaid, Medicare, and other government programs, such as behavioral health and EAP, as well as healthcare management and long term support services through its network of medical and behavioral health professionals, clinics, hospitals, nursing facilities, home care agencies, and ancillary service providers. The Pharmacy Management segment comprises products and solutions that provide clinical and financial management of pharmaceuticals paid under medical and pharmacy benefit programs. This segment offers pharmacy benefit management services, pharmacy benefit administration for state Medicaid and other government sponsored programs, pharmaceutical dispensing services, clinical and formulary management programs, medical pharmacy management programs, and programs for the integrated management of specialty drugs that treat complex conditions. The company provides services to health plans and other managed care organizations, employers, labor unions, various military and governmental agencies, and third party administrators. Magellan Health, Inc. was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.

#13 - CymaBay Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CBAY)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 11 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $18.7778 (56.6% Upside)

CymaBay Therapeutics logoCymabay Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing and commercializing therapies to treat specialty and orphan diseases. It engages in developing seladelpar (MBX-8025), a selective agonist of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta, which has completed Phase 2 clinical study for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis and homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia; and arhalofenate, which completed five Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of gout. The company's product candidate also includes MBX-2982, an oral G-protein coupled receptor agonist to treat type II diabetes. Cymabay Therapeutics, Inc. has licensing agreement with Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. for the development and commercialization of arhalofenate in the United States; development and license agreements with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to develop and discover undisclosed metabolic disease target agonists for the treatment of type II diabetes and other disorders; and a license and development agreement with DiaTex, Inc. to develop and commercialize therapeutic products containing halofenate, its enantiomers, derivatives, and analogs for the treatment of diseases. The company was formerly known as Metabolex, Inc. Cymabay Therapeutics, Inc. was incorporated in 1988 and is headquartered in Newark, California.

#14 - Evolus (NASDAQ:EOLS)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $22.50 (186.6% Upside)

Evolus logoEvolus, Inc. provides medical aesthetic products for physicians and their patients in the United States. It offers DWP-450, an injectable 900 kilodalton botulinum toxin type A complex designed to address the needs of the facial aesthetics market. The company was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Irvine, California.

#15 - Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.9
Ratings Breakdown: 15 Buy Ratings, 3 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $148.0667 (14.3% Upside)

Edwards Lifesciences logoEdwards Lifesciences Corporation provides products and technologies to treat structural heart disease and critically ill patients in the United States and internationally. It offers transcatheter heart valve therapy products comprising transcatheter aortic heart valves and related delivery systems for the nonsurgical replacement of heart valves. The company also provides surgical heart valve therapy products, such as pericardial valves for aortic and mitral surgical valve replacement; aortic heart valves; annuloplasty rings and the beating-heart mitral repair systems; and cardiac cannula devices, as well as various procedure-enabling platforms to advance minimally invasive surgery. In addition, it offers critical care products, such as hemodynamic monitoring systems to measure a patient's heart function in surgical and intensive care settings; pulmonary artery catheters; Oximetry Central Venous catheters, as well as clinical monitoring platforms that display a patient's physiological status; and disposable pressure monitoring devices and closed blood sampling systems to protect patients and clinicians from infection. The company distributes its products through direct sales force and independent distributors. Edwards Lifesciences Corporation was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Irvine, California.







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