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7 Health Care Stocks for 2012

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Medicare Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that health spending will grow by an average 5.8% a year through 2020, compared to 5.7% devoid of the sweeping health care overhaul. The U.S. is expected to spend $4.6 trillion on health care in 2020, doubling from $2.6 trillion spent last year.

Based on average estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg, these seven stocks have potential upsides ranging from 5% to 12%, buy recommendations of 69% and hold ratings of 28%.

The stocks are sorted in ascending order of upside potential.


7. Cerner Corporation (CERN - Get Report) is a supplier of health care information technology solutions, health care devices and related services. Its solutions are licensed by about 9,000 facilities worldwide, including more than 2,600 hospitals, 3,500 physician practices covering more than 30,000 physicians, and 500 ambulatory facilities.

For the third quarter of 2011, Cerner reported revenue of $571.6 million, up 24% compared to $462.7 million in the year-ago period. Net earnings for the quarter were $78.8 million and diluted earnings per share stood at 45 cents, vs. $60.9 million, or 36 cents in the same quarter previous year.

For the fourth quarter 2011, Cerner forecasts revenue between $575 million and $595 million, and adjusted earnings per share before share-based compensation expense to range from 51 cents to 53 cents. Bookings for the quarter are seen between $630 million and $670 million.

Cerner signed a value added reseller agreement with Cellcura ASA last month, related to sales of the novel CellCura ART Lab Solution.

Of the 23 analysts covering the stock, 57% recommend a buy and 39% suggest a hold. The stock's average 12-month price target is $70.50, or 13% above the current price, according to a Bloomberg consensus.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
HMA $0.00 0.00%
CERN $73.28 1.31%
HCA $76.07 -0.04%
HLS $45.19 2.08%
MASI $31.84 1.34%

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DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

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