Below is a list of 14 stock opportunities from various ETF Innovators [ETFI] indexes, which includes a database of over 1,000 companies. The companies are chosen across a full spectrum of market cap and risk level from a variety of industry groups.
From the ETFI Highly Defensive PerformIdex, I believe Altria Group (MO) and Pfizer (PFE) are defensive dividend, value buys at current levels as each company currently pays a dividend of $1.28 per share annually – resulting in historically high dividend yields for both companies of 8.5% and 7.7%, respectively. Another pick from this group is Celgene (CELG), which is starting to make a move up from the $50 level at the low end of its trading range, but offers the best growth prospects among large-cap biotechs with a PEG ratio still below 1X and leading cancer drugs.
The Healthcare Cost Containment Index offers Caraco Pharma (CPD) as a way to play India's largest generic drug company by market cap, Sun Pharma, through its distribution agreement. Caraco believes it has addressed the issues raised in the FDA warning letter completely, which provides a potential upside catalyst upon resolution. Caraco has lost an astounding two-thirds of its market value in just the past month and over three-quarters of value in the past year despite the fact the Company has enough cash on hand ($33.6M) to buy back almost its entire float of 11.3M outstanding shares at current prices.
Another opportunity from this group is Momenta Pharma (MNTA), which expects to launch a generic version (M-Enoxaparin) of the injectable blood thinner Lovenox in 2009 along with Novartis (NVS), pending approval of their ANDA by the Generic Division of the FDA.
From the Preventive Medicine Index, China Medical (CMED) is trading near its IPO levels of August 2005 despite excellent growth prospects and is a buy below 20 bucks with a dividend yield of 2.5% and market cap of $540M as uncertainty over a $345M acquisition has spooked some investors, sending the stock down sharply by over 50% in the past three months. The acquisition provides CMED with a molecular diagnostics platform for HPV, including strains that cause cervical cancer – which is an estimated $700M market in China alone.
A trio of companies expect FDA decisions for abuse-resistant pain drugs before year-end, including Pain Therapeutics (PTIE) and King Pharma (KG) for Remoxy and Alpharma (ALO) for Embeda. Now that Alpharma has accepted King Pharma's buyout bid, KG reflects a way to trade both decisions in a single stock for twice the chances of approval. The Alpharma acquisition diversifies King's business mix, as ALO derives the majority of its sales from animal health, in addition to offering pharmaceutical products such as Kadian and Flector.
From the Global Health Innovators Index, Thoratec (THOR) posted strong data on Friday for its HeartMate II pump among heart failure patients who are not eligible for a transplant. The positive data came much earlier than expected and allows Thoratec to apply for approval of the device during 1H09. THOR traded near all-time highs on Friday on over 3X average trading volume on favorable prospects for approval of the device during the first half of 2010.
From the Global Transportation Index, the airline industry looks promising next year despite the global economic slowdown thanks to a drastic reduction in jet fuel costs and reduced capacity through grounded planes and M&A. JetBlue Airways (JBLU) and Southwest Airlines (LUV) are both well positioned to benefit from these trends while Kansas City Southern (KSU) is a regional rail transport play near its 52-week low which is poised to benefit from a recovery in the housing market and continued demand for coal transport to power the energy grid. Among the major rail transports, Norfolk Southern (NSC) currently has the highest dividend yield at 2.8%.
For less well-known and higher risk/reward opportunities, the Emerging Bio-Pharma space offers Javelin Pharma (JAV) and InSite Vision (ISV), which have the following bullish factors in their favor:
1.) Differentiated products which are already approved in either the U.S. or Europe (Dyloject – JAV and AzaSite – ISV) and are poised to gain market share;
2.) Late-stage clinical pipelines with pending pivotal Phase 3 results and the potential for licensing agreements to generate upfront cash, milestone payments, and future royalties;
3.) Raised cash before the credit and equity market turmoil began;
4.) Recently announced cost-cutting programs to conserve resources toward high-priority R&D and marketing efforts.