Stocks to buy

The Top 3 Healthcare Stocks to Buy in April 2024

Healthcare stocks, especially industry leaders that offer a wide range of products and services, can be an investor’s best friend due to the growing need for increased development of healthcare products and services. These stocks tend to provide investors with a substantial return on their investment.

The healthcare industry can be volatile, especially smaller companies, where the results of a certain product or service can make or break its overall growth prospects. When trading in the healthcare industry, it is very beneficial to stick with larger companies with a proven track record.

Here are a number of leading healthcare companies that have performed very well recently and still offer investors potential upside that deserve greater investor attention.

Cardinal Health (CAH)

Source: Shutterstock

Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) is a leading healthcare distribution company that provides products and services for hospitals, surgery centers, primary care facilities, laboratories and pharmacies.

Over the past year, its share price has increased by 37% due to solid revenue growth and primarily generic product demand. This has led to Argus upgrading Cardinal Health and setting its price target to $120 per share.

On Feb. 1, Cardinal Health released its earnings results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2024, stating that total revenue increased by 12% year-over-year. It reported a net loss of $130 million for Q2 FY 2023, which increased to a net income of $354 million for Q2 FY 2024. CAH raised its outlook for earnings per share to between $7.20-$7.35 from $6.75-$7.00 for the remainder of fiscal year 2024.

Cardinal Health has performed remarkably well lately. It beat analyst expectations regarding second-quarter earnings and has bolstered its specialty therapeutic support capabilities by acquiring Speciality Networks.

CAH offers a dividend yield of 1.85% annually, making it a strong growth option that investors should consider.

McKesson (MCK)

McKesson headquarters in Irving, TX

Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

McKesson (NYSE:MCK) is a provider of healthcare services that operates through multiple segments, including pharmaceuticals, healthcare technology, surgical solutions and specialty products.

Over this past year, it has seen its share price increase by nearly 50% due to strong revenue growth primarily within its pharmaceutical segment.

McKesson beat analysts’ expectations for its latest earnings report, the third quarter of fiscal year 2024. The report stated that total revenue increased by 15%, and net income decreased by 44% year over year. MCK is also raising its full fiscal year 2024 earnings per share from $26.80-$27.40 to $27.25-$27.65.

McKesson has seen impressive sales growth of its GLP-1 medications due to an overall increase in demand and its providing investors with a large share repurchase program.

Mckesson has seen strong returns that have enticed investors and led to a large increase in its share price over the past year. Its growth of new products, such as its GLP-1 medications, has contributed to nearly 60% of sales growth year over year. MCK is a solid buy-and-hold healthcare stock.

Cigna Group (CI)

mobile phone screen with the Cigna (CI) logo on it. representing healthcare stocks to buy

Source: Piotr Swat / Shutterstock.com

Cigna Group (NYSE:CI) is a healthcare services company that primarily provides insurance options and similar products for its customers, including unions, individuals and private and public businesses and employers.

On Feb. 2, Cigna Group reported earnings for the fourth quarter of full-year 2023 results, stating that total revenue increased by 12% to $51 billion and net income fell slightly by 14% compared to the previous year. It also reported that total U.S.-based customers increased by 12% year-over-year.

Following its latest earnings report, Cigna Group increased its quarterly dividend payout to investors by 14% to $1.40 per share, compared to a previous quarterly yield of $1.23 per share. Due to this recent growth in its dividend yield, Cigna now offers investors an annual dividend yield of 1.82%.

Over the past year, Cigna’s share price has increased by 37% due to increased earnings growth and increased customer growth among specific segments. The company is focused on providing new products, such as its Evernorth health services segment launching an outpatient behavioral health program. It is a company that still has room to grow and should be considered by investors seeking exposure to the healthcare services industry.

As of this writing, Noah Bolton did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Noah has about a year of freelance writing experience. He’s worked with Investopedia dealing with
topics such as the stock market and financial news.

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