Health-care stocks are in focus after Pfizer began shipments in the U.S. of its Covid vaccine and the first vaccinations were given this week.
It’s not just the companies developing and delivering Covid vaccines that have caught one market analyst’s eye. Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, said French pharmaceutical company Sanofi could be worth a second look.
Sanofi “enjoys a very, very broad portfolio and it’s also a leader in vaccine manufacturing, not necessarily Covid but just vaccine manufacturers, and I think the whole move towards vaccination due to Covid awareness has really grown quite a lot and Sanofi is going to benefit from that the next couple of years,” Schlossberg told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Monday.
As investors wait for those tail winds to give the stock a lift, Schlossberg said its current fundamentals and pipeline also make Sanofi a solid health-care play.
“It’s also just sort of a very, very steady stock. It’s got a 3.8% dividend, which makes it very attractive in this environment, and it does have one very good drug which is called Dupixent which basically allows for treatment of eczema in young children but it’s also indicated as a treatment for asthma. And I think that could be a very big drug,” said Schlossberg.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May approved Sanofi’s Dupixent for treatment of children’s dermatitis.
Sanofi shares have underperformed the broader health-care sector this year, though. The stock is down 8% compared with a 10% gain for the XLV health care ETF.
Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer, is betting on one group of health-care stocks rather than the entire sector.
“It’s been this tale of two health cares where what had been a broader move earlier in the year has become much more dispersed where you have a sector of haves and have-nots,” Wald said during the same “Trading Nation” segment. “We would be advising going underweight large-cap pharma against an overweight position in small-cap biotech.”
The Russell 2000 biotech index has risen 57% so far this year. The S&P 500 pharmaceutical subsector, which includes Pfizer and Merck, is up just 3% over the same stretch. Wald’s small-cap biotech buy ideas include Exact Sciences, Iovance Therapeutics and Vericel.