Health care led all sectors in Q3 as investors rotated away from some of the high-flying tech names and into more defensive plays.
The sector gained 14.04% — its best quarterly performance since Q1 2013 — and some investors believe the trade is just starting to heat up.
Virtus Investment Partners’ Joe Terranova owns Abbott Laboratoriesand continues to like it. The pharma giant has nearly doubled in value over the past two years, but Terranova thinks strength in the company’s medical devices division will continue to drive the stock higher.
“It’s a very diversified company, but the medical devices division reported very strong results on the aortic valve therapeutics that they’re developing right now, so I’m staying with it,” he said on the “Halftime Report.”
The Illinois-based company hit a new all-time high on Friday, bringing its total gain for the year to just under 30%.
In the medical devices space Terranova also likes Edwards Lifesciences. “Take a look at that chart. It’s really moving and it has great fundamentals.” The stock currently trades at 31.75X next year’s earnings, and it has soared 43.8% this year through Tuesday’s close.
Health care as a whole has rallied, but not all individual names have posted stellar gains. HPM Partners’ Jim Lebenthal likes Allergan, which he owns, for that very reason.
“Health care has taken over leadership in the last few months, but some of the early risers in that trend have kind of sputtered recently…Allergan is one that sputtered for a few weeks and now I’m seeing it catch a bid. It’s still ridiculously undervalued, and I see it going higher from here,” he said on Tuesday’s “Halftime Report.”The Dublin-based company trades at 11.59X next year’s earnings and yields 1.49%.
Q3 earnings season kicks off next week and Street expectations are high.
Nuveen managing director Stephanie Link believes we’ll continue to see strenth in the health care space. “I went to a bunch of conferences over the past couple of weeks in health care and they sound dynamite across the board. I still think you’re going to see strength there,” she said on Tuesday’s “Halftime Report.”
In addition to health care she’s also watching energy ahead of earnings since she believes the Street’s expectations for both sectors are too low.
“I think energy and health care are going to be the two best [sectors] in terms of earnings,” she said.