Update-4. 2/15….2:30p EST XBI pushing for new 52 weeks highs at $93.61. Biotechs/medtechs strong: CRBU, CRMD, CRSP, CPRX, CYRX, ILMN,SUPN, TWST, VCEL.

Update-3 2/6..3P EST Some of my SMID caps are coming alive as the XBI ticks up to $89 level: strength among my holdings: CRSP,CYRX, GEHC, ILMN, PACB,SUPN, TXG, VCYT  etc. M&A theme needs to be re-iterated-large buys SMID.

Update-2 2/4/24

We will organize the Healthcare Playbook by subsectors in future posts: MedTech, Biotech and Biopharma, Diagnostics and Tools and of course Healthcare in general. The XLV is up 4.11% YTD and 1.95% for the week, while the IBB is down 0.55% for the week and down 0.92% for the Year.

We will post a performance update for biotech and mutual funds and ETFs tomorrow.

Update-1 2/1…2p EST…Large cap Biopharmaceuticals strong: AMGN,ABBV, LLY, MRK, REGN….UNH lagging.

  • Hologic (HOLX) FY Q1 Rev. $1,031m,GAAP dil EPS,$1.03 all beat. Full yr raised guidance higher growth ex-COVID. Beast health, surgical growth, Cash flow strong. FDA cleared Genius digital cytology system.
  • Merck looking for more deals, $15B and under.
  • BDX beat and raises guidance. Surgical strong.

Biotech and MedTech Portfolio Notes

  • Cautious on Diagnostics and Tools per TMO
  • Buy signal on MEDtech
  • Avoid small cap spec plays

The FED held rates keeping their future options flexible with no expectations for future cuts. The market did not like it and sold off with the Russell 2000 down 2.45% and the NASDAQ down 2.23%. With the market up about 19% over 3 months a sell-off can be expected and the rally was broken. Most large cap biopharma stocks held on to their values but the SMID caps sold off rather hard as expected because they are most sensitive to interest rates needing to raise funds. Case in point the XBI was down 1.51% while the IBB was down 1.61%. The meteoric QQQs were down 1.96%. We should expect speculation to be tempered  for a bit as indeed the volatile ARKG was down 3.4%.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) was down 2.85% on release of their non-opioid pain killer late stage trial data expected to be approved in mid-2024. Some analysts felt the data would not cause physicians to switch from Vicodin to the VX-548 drug for moderate to severe pain, although the drug was safe and well tolerated.

Pfizer (PFE) reported yesterday with tilted EPS of 0.37 down 97% YoY and 2023 Revenues of $58.5B with growth of 7% excluding COVId products. The Company expects to grow Revenues in 2024 from the Seagen acquisition, and has developed a strong pipeline in later years for growth. The Company re-affirmed 2024 guidance with Revenues of $58.5-$61.5B with $8B in sales of COVID19 products.

MEDTech Update.

We added to our positions in Boston Scientific (BSX),  and Stryker (SYK) today are earnings were released yesterday.  For 2023 BSX generated sales of $14.24B a growth of 12.3% and EPS of $1.07 compared to $0.45 a year ago. The Company expects 7-9% growth  in current quarter because of growth in electrophysiology from an implantable device that can lower the risk of strokes.

Stryker (SYK) reported 2023 Sales of $20.5  a growth of 11.1% and an adjusted EPS of $3.36 an increase of 15.3% The 2024 Outlook sees sales growth of 7.5-9% and an adjusted EPS of $11.7-12.00.

Other MEDtech movers today were : BDX up 1.1%, EW up 6.18%. IHI up 0.78%.

ThermoFisher Scientific (TMO) led the diagnostic sector down 4.99%.  2023 Revenues were $42.86B a decline of 4%, Full year GAAP Diluted EPS was $15.45. Cites sluggish demand in bioprocessing services.



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