The healthcare sector is in focus as earnings season kicks off. Healthcare has been one of the top performing sectors in the S&P 500 this year, putting the spotlight on related exchange traded funds.
“S&P Equity analysts are more positive on the fundamentals of certain industries of the healthcare sector than they are about others. One of those potential bright spots is the biotechnology industry. In addition to biotech, S&P Capital IQ equity analysts have positive fundamental outlooks on healthcare technology, healthcare services, healthcare distributors, life sciences tools and services and managed healthcare industries,” the ratings company wrote in a recent note.
Investors will be eying second quarter earnings reports this week from mega-company Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), United Health Group, Inc. (NYSE: UNH) and Stryker Corporation (NYSE:SYK). [Healthcare ETFs Beating S&P in 2013]
Currently there are 11 “Overweight” ranked ETFs tied to the healthcare sector. The following are some of S&P Capital IQ’s favorites, which include the two-largest focused ETFs trading: Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEArca: XLV), PowerShares S&P SmallCap Health Care Portfolio (NYSEArca: PSCH), Vanguard Health Care Index Fund (NYSEArca: VHT).
XLV is the largest healthcare ETF trading, with $6.8 billion in assets under management. Sub-industries within this ETF are pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, healthcare equipment and managed healthcare. Long-term growth is looking certain forGileadwhich is a top holding in the fund. The company has a new Hepatitis C drug in the pipeline, in addition to the top AIDS/HIV market franchise that has 70% of the market share. [Take a Defensive Approach with a Healthcare ETF]
VHT is less top-heavy, with 10 companies making up the top assets, versus four for XLV. Sub-industries included are pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, healthcare equipment and managed healthcare.
PSCH takes a small-cap approach to the healthcare industry. Most companies have an average market cap of $1.7 billion. The sub-industries represented are pharmaceuticals, healthcare supplies, healthcare equipment and healthcare services. [An Obamacare ETF Winner]
Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.