Good news continues to benefit Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) stock. The Deerfield, Illinois-based medical equipment company received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its latest version of Floseal. Floseal already led the industry among blood-clotting solutions, so how it affects BAX stock remains unclear.
However, with a demographic trend that continues to favor all things healthcare, it serves as yet another reason to buy Baxter International stock.
Baxter Improves Floseal
Baxter just received approval from the FDA for its next generation of its Floseal Hemostatic Matrix. The company designed Floseal to stop bleeding during surgeries when more conventional procedures fail. The company reduced both the components and the steps to prepare by 20% in this latest version.
The Bulls and BAX stock
Interestingly, despite the compelling benefits Floseal appears to offer, it may not affect BAX significantly. The Advanced Surgery division which produces Floseal remains one of the company’s smaller divisions. The Renal Care, Medication Delivery, Pharmaceuticals, and Clinical Nutrition divisions all generate more revenue for the company.
Moreover, the slow, steady increases in BAX began 3.5 years ago. It traded at just under $33 per share in the fall of 2015. Today, it has risen to over $79 per share. This places it just shy of its all-time high of $82.25 per share where it peaked last month.
BAX also continues a pace of steady profit growth, which should rise to double-digit levels next year. Moreover, it trades at a forward price-to-earnings (PE) ratio of 21.3. This places its multiple close to long-term averages. It also makes it a cheaper stock than another peer, Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)
Medicare Is Key for BAX
In most cases, I would call a stock with such metrics a hold. However, demographics provide a catalyst that will help BAX for now even if it failed to improve its products. The baby boom generation continues to age into Medicare at a rapid pace. A similar trend has appeared in other countries. This population’s need for more medical care almost guarantees an increase in profits for BAX over the next few years.
The peak of the baby boom occurred in 1957. Hence, age-ins to Medicare will peak 65 years after that year, meaning 2022. For this reason, I would expect at least three more years of a rising BAX.
This trend has already helped take the financials higher. Both revenue and dividends for BAX have risen every year since 2016. The 0.95% yield on the dividend probably will not motivate investors to buy. However, the annual increases for the payout likely reflect the bullish sentiment.
The Bottom Line on BAX Stock
Although a better Floseal should bring improved revenues to Baxter, demographics will continue to serve as the driving force behind BAX. As the leading product for blood clotting, the enhanced version of Floseal should help ensure that Baxter maintains its lead over Ethicon’s Surgiflo.
Still, the millions of baby boomers entering Medicare will more than likely remain the number one reason to buy BAX stock. With a greater need for care and the backing behind Medicare to pay, Baxter will benefit from this growing book of business for years to come.
The market will always welcome product improvements. Despite this benefit, the growth in BAX will remain tied primarily to Medicare age-ins for the foreseeable future.
As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting.
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