Although healthcare stocks lag other sectors, large-cap leaders such as Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY), McKesson Corp. (NYSE: MCK) and Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) are in possible buy ranges as they get moving-average support.
Moving average support is a crucial technical indicator in stock analysis, valued by retail and institutional investors. This easy-to-use indicator offers insights into a stock's trend direction and potential reversals, making it a valuable tool for decision-making.
Institutional investors, with their significant capital and influence, pay close attention to moving averages.
For example, you’ll frequently see a stock decline, but find support just at the level of the 50-day or 200-day line. Big institutional investors, such as mutual funds, hedge funds, banks or insurance companies, will often step in to buy shares at a more attractive valuation, if they have conviction about a stock.
Lilly: Weight-Loss Drug Driving Revenue
Eli Lilly revenue was up 28% in the most recent quarter, mostly due to sales of its Mounjaro weight-loss drug that generated $980 million in sales. That was up from just $16 million in the year-ago quarter, showing the rapid ramp-up of the drug’s popularity.
Wall Street is optimistic about Lilly’s prospects; if you look at MarketBeat’s Eli Lilly & Co. analyst ratings, you’ll see a consensus of “moderate buy.” Since the company’s most recent earnings report on August 8, when the stock gapped up nearly 15%, 12 analysts boosted their price targets or upgraded their ratings on the stock.
The Eli Lilly chart shows the stock consolidating near its 50-day line. On October 6, the stock rallied 3.87%, bouncing off the 50-day average on news that
On Friday, Bank of America analysts boosted their price target on Eli Lilly to $700 from $600, saying they see a favorable risk/reward profile, looking to the end of the year. Bank of America analysts said they expect regulatory approvals for obesity, Alzheimer's and ulcerative colitis treatments.
McKesson Earnings and Revenue Accelerating
McKesson isn’t a well-known name to the general public, but the stock is up 19.30% so far this year, and 9.50% in the past month.
With a market capitalization of $60.34 billion, McKesson is the largest domestic pharmaceutical distributor, ahead of rivals Cencora, formerly AmeriSource Bergen, and Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE: CAH), based on revenue.
McKesson’s sales and earnings both accelerated in the past two quarters, and Wall Street is eyeing earning growth of 5% this year and 13% next year. The company said first-quarter revenue of $74 million was primarily driven by growth in the U.S. Pharmaceutical business segment.
The McKesson chart shows a stock that’s trading 1.4% above its previous buy point of $441. The stock is holding just 1.1% higher than its 10-day moving average. McKesson stock is currently actionable, and will be until it rises 5% above that previous high of $441.
While the stock consolidated recently along its 10-week average, trading volume was low, which is exactly what you want to see. That means there was no mad dash for the exits.
MarketBeat’s McKesson analyst ratings show a consensus view of “moderate buy.”
Novartis Completes Sandoz Spinoff
Analysts expect Switzerland-based Novartis to see an earnings decline this year, with growth returning again in 2024, when Wall Street forecasts growth of 17%.
The company focuses on five core therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, immunology, neuroscience, solid tumors and hematology, with multiple significant in-market and pipeline assets in each of those areas.
On October 4, Novartis completed the spinoff of Sandoz Group AG (OTCMKTS: SDZNY), which develops and manufactures generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars that are sold globally.
After that spinoff, Novartis’ market capitalization is $200.96 billion.
The Novartis chart shows the stock consolidating below a July 21 high of $99.93, which is the current buy point.
If you look closely at a daily chart for Novartis, you’ll see that shares closed on October 6 just slightly above the 50-day moving average. You’ll also see numerous intraday gaps. With an overseas stock that trades on a U.S. exchange as an American Depositary Receipt, those gaps reflect currency exchange gaps, as well as price differences that occur as global markets are open at different times.