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Women Health a Top Priority Now: 3 Stocks to Watch

Sreyoshi Mukherjee

The United States is allocating as much as 17.8% of its GDP to healthcare (2019 figure), with a target to reach 20% soon. No wonder, this has stirred investor interest in key healthcare spaces — one being the hugely-untapped women’s health market.

Modern healthcare has been seen growing investments in companies that work on research for improving women’s health, resulting in cutting-edge treatments with rising emphasis on cancer care. A very interesting insight in this regard — startups focusing on women’s healthcare have multiplied in number in recent years and have ramped up investments considerably (a CBINSIGHTS report).

From artificial intelligence (“AI”) in women healthcare, cancer drugs to In Vitro Fertilization ("IVF"), the women’s health market is gearing up for an unprecedented wave of innovation.

Recently, medical device bigwig Cooper Companies COO contributed to the financing of $10 million by DotLab, a personalized medicine company for women's health. The view is to significantly transform the diagnosis of endometriosis, a chronic disease in women.

Apart from endometriosis, other diseases chronic women health issues include breast, ovarian and cervical cancer as well as infertility.

Disease Rates Expected to Rise

BreastCancer.Org predicts roughly 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer in 2019. About 41,760 women in the United States are expected to die in 2019 owing to breast cancer. Lifestyle issues, obesity and aging population are major factors behind the deteriorating women health conditions.

These apart, the recent anti-abortion laws in the United States are also endangering.

Overall, it is a good time for invest in companies specializing in women’s health as the global women’s healthcare market is expected to see a CAGR of 5.7% by 2025 (per a report by TMR Research).

Recent Breakthrough in Women Healthcare

Among many others, AI has been playing a pivotal role in women’s healthcare.

Tech giant Intel INTC has partnered with privately-held MobileODT to develop an algorithm which identifies a woman’s cervix type based on images.

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical bigwig Pfizer PFE is exploring the possibility of expanding its IBRANCE capsules into recurrent and subsequent early breast cancer as well as several non-breast cancer indications.

Moreover, the infertility research field has seen some new advances like PGD/PGS embryo screening and Minimal-stimulation IVF, among others.

Against this backdrop, let’s take a look at a few companies focusing on women’s health.

Stocks to Watch

We have zeroed in on three stocks which have made significant progress in women health and cancer care. Notably, all three stocks have outperformed their industries over the past month.

Our first pick is Massachusetts-based Hologic, Inc. HOLX. The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company is focused on mammography systems for breast examination.

The company has of late been eyeing to strengthen its Breast Health unit with the acquisition of France-based SuperSonic Imagine. This will provide comprehensive screening, interventional and surgical solutions across the continuum of breast health care. With the buyouts of digital specimen radiography specialists Faxitron Bioptics and BioZorb, Hologic is spreading out in the breast surgery side of that continuum. This helps Hologic’s Brevera breast biopsy system with CorLumina imaging technology in improving workflow.

Over the past year, the stock has rallied 14.5% compared with the industry’s 3.3% rise.

Next on our list is The Cooper Companies, Inc., a California-based specialty medical device company, which offers the best-in-class fertility solutions. The company offers genetic testing products and noninvasive prenatal testing for family planning. In recent times, Cooper acquired the assets of The LifeGlobal Group and its affiliates, leading global providers of IVF devices.

Naturally, in the last reported quarter, Cooper’s fertility revenues saw double-digit growth.

Over the past year, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company has gained 34.7% outperforming the industry’s no gain. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Investors may also consider Quest Diagnostics Incorporated DGX. Based in New Jersey, this Zacks Rank #3 company is one of the largest providers of commercial laboratory services in North America.

Quest’s cervical cancer screening offerings deserve a special mention here. The range includes liquid-based Pap tests, high-risk HPV testing with Aptima HPV mRNA and HPV genotyping. This apart, recently-inked acquisition deals are expected to upgrade the company’s capabilities in advanced diagnostics, especially in the areas of women’s health.

Over the past year, the stock has slipped 9.4%, better than the industry’s 17.8% decline.

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Pfizer Inc. (PFE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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