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Top 10 Health Care ETFs

Stocks in this article: XLV VHT IYH XPH IBB FXH PTH

VHT (Vanguard Health Care ETF) follows the MSCI US Investable Market Health Care 25/50 Index and is another broad index covering the entire spectrum of the health care industry. The fund was launched in January 2004. The expense ratio is .25%. AUM equal $825 million and average daily trading volume is a low 80K shares. The lower volume indicates Vanguard's financial advisor audience with more of a buy and hold philosophy. As of July 2011 the annual dividend was $.098 making the current yield 1.52% and YTD return in excess of 14%.

Recently FocusShares in conjunction with Scottrade launched FHC (Focus Morningstar Health Care ETF) which tracks the Morningstar Health Care Index. The fund needs some seasoning but replicates well other ETFs in the same sector. The attraction is the lower expense ratio .19% and commission free trading for Scottrade clients.

Data as of July 2011

VHT Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): 9.80%
  2. Pfizer Inc. (PFE): 9.80%
  3. Merck & Co, Inc. (MRK): 6.13%
  4. Abbott Laboratories (ABT): 4.57%
  5. Amgen, Inc. (AMGN): 3.04%
  6. Unitedhealth Group, Inc. (UNH): 3.00%
  7. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY): 2.73%
  8. Medtronic, Inc. (MDT): 2.56%
  9. Eli Lilly and Company (LLY): 2.20%
  10. Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD): 2.08%

IYH (iShares Dow Jones U.S. Health Care ETF) follows the Dow Jones U.S. Health Care Index which includes most constituents from the health care sector. The fund was launched in June 2006. The expense ratio is .48%. AUM equal $680 million while average daily trading volume is just fewer than 70K shares. As of July 2011 the annual dividend was $.91 making the current yield 1.25% with YTD return of 11.75%.

Data as of July 2011

IYH Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): 11.74%
  2. Pfizer Inc (PFE): 10.71%
  3. Merck & Co Inc (MRK): 7.00%
  4. Abbott Laboratories (ABT): 5.22%
  5. UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH): 3. 66%
  6. Amgen, Inc. (AMGN): 3.51%
  7. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY): 3.21%
  8. Medtronic, Inc. (MDT): 2.69%
  9. Eli Lilly and Company (LLY): 2.38%
  10. Baxter International Inc. (BAX): 2.21%

XPH (SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF) follows the S&P Pharmaceuticals Select Industry Index. The index covers every stock in the sector listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ by primarily equal weights. The fund was launched in June 2006. The expense ratio is .35%. AUM equal nearly $250 million and has an average daily trading volume 47K shares. As of July 2011 the annual dividend is $.40 making the current yield .77% with YTD performance of just over 11%.

Some investors like the liquidity of PPH (ML Pharmaceutical HOLDRS) which as a trust follows a fixed holding of securities. In this case PPH only holds a little over 11 issues in the trust with JNJ, PFE and MRK representing nearly 60% of the holdings. This means you win big with those three or lose big.  

Data as of July 2011

XPH Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (JAZZ): 4.76%
  2. Mylan Inc (MYL): 4.31%
  3. Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (SLXP): 4.28%
  4. Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (WPI): 4.18%
  5. Warner Chilcott PLC A (WCRX): 4.18%
  6. Medicis Pharmaceuticals Corporation A (MRX): 4.08%
  7. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY): 4.06%
  8. Perrigo Company (PRGO): 4.05%
  9. Allergan, Inc. (AGN): 4.05%
  10. Impax Laboratories, Inc. (IPXL): 4.04%


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