Investors sold off health care stocks following Donald Trump's victory, fearing that the President-elect's health care reforms would hurt the sector. The selloff has put shares of fundamentally strong health care companies on sale, which is a great opportunity for value investors.
The share prices of all three companies show the same general downward trend since the first quarter of 2015, although profits have increased over the same period. This indicates that the companies haven't sustained a blow to their fundamentals. Instead, the broad health care sector is experiencing some bumps. Buy these companies now and profit once the health care sector recovers from Trump fear.
Shares of Cerner (CERN) - Get Report are down more than 20% year to date after peaking at $68 in August but then sliding sharply lower. The health care technology company provides data systems to help health centers manage patient records and handle payments.
The company has increased its earnings every year since 2004. It is projecting that revenue will increase by double digits next year. Cerner's total debt is only 28% of its total assets, which is a good sign that the company isn't relying on debt to operate and that its profits won't suffer once interest rates start to rise.
Operating cash flow has also increased at an impressive clip every year since 2013 at an average rate of about 19% per year.
Eli Lilly (LLY) - Get Report is down about 20% this year partly due to its failed phase 3 clinical trial of Alzheimer's drug Solanezumab in November. The drug did not produce a statistically significant slowing in mental decline for patients with mild dementia due to Alzheimer's.
However the company does have Cialis and Strattera, which contributed sizable portions of Eli Lilly's 2015 revenue of nearly $20 billion. These drugs should ensure the company's revenue growth through 2018, at which time it will face competition from generic versions of the drugs.
Eli Lilly's earnings have experienced moderate stagnation over the last few years, which investors hoped Solanezumab would alleviate. Still, the company's recently approved diabetes drug, Trulicity, might allow it to capture market share in the diabetes market.
All that said, with a quarter of its annual revenue spent on research and development, Eli Lilly should be able to jump-start its stagnating earnings.
Lastly, medical supply distributor McKesson's (MCK) - Get Report stock price is down about 26% since the start of the year, to $146.74 from about $197. Unlike Eli Lilly's clinical trial woes, McKesson's stock price suffered from disappointing earnings results and investors' fears about new Medicare rules going into effect in 2017.
In the short term, McKesson's astronomical revenue growth might slow, but the company's long-term prospects remain intact. The company's profits have grown to $2.26 billion in the fiscal year ended March 2016 from $1.34 billion in the fiscal year ended March 2013.
For all three of these companies, hold off on buying until markets swallow the shock of the next Federal Reserve rate hike, which certainly will discount these companies further. But over a two-year or greater period, these companies will provide an excellent opportunity for investors.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.