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Should You Invest in the VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH)?

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Zacks Equity Research
·3 min read
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If you're interested in broad exposure to the Healthcare - Pharma segment of the equity market, look no further than the VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH), a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 12/20/2011.

While an excellent vehicle for long term investors, passively managed ETFs are a popular choice among institutional and retail investors due to their low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency.

Sector ETFs are also funds of convenience, offering many ways to gain low risk and diversified exposure to a broad group of companies in particular sectors. Healthcare - Pharma is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 13, placing it in bottom 19%.

Index Details

The fund is sponsored by Van Eck. It has amassed assets over $249.80 million, making it one of the average sized ETFs attempting to match the performance of the Healthcare - Pharma segment of the equity market. PPH seeks to match the performance of the MVIS US Listed Pharmaceutical 25 Index before fees and expenses.

The MVIS US Listed Pharmaceutical 25 Index tracks the overall performance of companies involved in pharmaceuticals, including pharmaceutical research and development as well a production, marketing and sales of pharmaceuticals.

Costs

When considering an ETF's total return, expense ratios are an important factor, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts in the long term if all other factors remain equal.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.36%, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.60%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

It is important to delve into an ETF's holdings before investing despite the many upsides to these kinds of funds like diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Looking at individual holdings, Novo Nordisk A/s (NVO) accounts for about 5.23% of total assets, followed by Astrazeneca Plc (AZN) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY).

The top 10 holdings account for about 50.02% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, PPH has added about 0.09%, and is up about 9.51% in the last one year (as of 11/09/2020). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $47.54 and $67.62.

The ETF has a beta of 0.88 and standard deviation of 21.32% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 26 holdings, it has more concentrated exposure than peers.

Alternatives

VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, PPH is a sufficient option for those seeking exposure to the Health Care ETFs area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF (PJP) tracks Dynamic Pharmaceutical Intellidex Index and the iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF (IHE) tracks Dow Jones U.S. Select Pharmaceuticals Index. Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF has $319.70 million in assets, iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF has $369.45 million. PJP has an expense ratio of 0.56% and IHE charges 0.42%.

Bottom Line

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH): ETF Research Reports
 
Novo Nordisk AS (NVO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Bristol Myers Squibb Company (BMY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF (PJP): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF (IHE): ETF Research Reports
 
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