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Healthcare plans' stocks were hit hard in August as budget talks instilled fear into already worried investors. By mid-month, however, many of the industry's stocks began consolidating and finding strong levels of price support.

As we moved through September, analysts began taking notice of healthcare plans, using words like "oversold" and "undervalued" when describing the industry. As we are about to close the doors on September, many stocks in the industry have bounced off of price support and are continuing to trade in the direction of analysts' price targets. Below is a technical look at 13 stocks that fit this description, sorted by market cap:

1. Unitedhealth Group, Inc. (UNH) fell to a $41.50 low last month and has since climbed to its current $49.45, yielding a 19.16% return from this support level. The stock is now trading 3.56% above its 20-day simple moving average (SMA), 4.69% above its 50-day SMA, and 9.49% above its 200-day SMA.

Analyst opinion for the company stands at fifteen strong buys, one moderate buy, four holds, zero moderate sells, and zero sells, with an average price target of $59.30, yielding a 19.92% average potential upside. The stock also looks to have established a linear, up-trending support floor (see below) that it has yet to fall below since its August lows.



2. WellPoint, Inc. (WLP) fell to a $57.00 low last month and has since climbed to its current $67.06, yielding a 17.65% return from this support level. The stock is now trading 4.17% above its 20-day SMA, 4.23% above its 50-day SMA, and 1.20% below its 200-day SMA.

Analyst opinion for the company stands at fourteen strong buys, one moderate buy, seven holds, zero moderate sells, and zero sells, with an average price target of $85.89, yielding a 28.08% average potential upside. The stock also looks to have established a linear, up-trending support floor (see below) that it has yet to fall below since its August lows.

3. Express Scripts Inc. (ESRX) fell to a $45.00 support level last month and, unlike UNH and WLP, has continued to fall. The stock looks as though it may have established newfound support at the $38.50 price level, but as this assumed support level is not yet fully established, investors will likely remain cautious.

Analyst opinion for the company stands at eighteen strong buys, two moderate buys, four holds, zero moderate sells, and zero sells, with an average price target of $63.84, yielding a 60.89% average potential upside. Though the stock has not established solid support, technical indicators (see below) show promise.

4. Aetna Inc. (AET) fell to a $33.50 low last month and has since climbed to its current $39.13, yielding a 16.81% return from this support level. The stock is now trading 1.19% below its 20-day SMA, 0.43% below its 50-day SMA, and 2.12% above its 200-day SMA.

Analyst opinion for the company stands at twelve strong buys, zero moderate buys, six holds, zero moderate sells, and zero sells, with an average price target of $50.28, yielding a 28.50% average potential upside. The stock also looks to have established a linear, up-trending support floor (see below) that it has yet to fall below since its August lows.



5. Health Spring Inc. (HS-OLD) fell to a $29.50 low last month and has since climbed to its current $37.52, yielding a 27.19% return from this support level. The stock is now trading 0.39% above its 20-day SMA, 0.45% below its 50-day SMA, and just 0.04% above its 200-day SMA.

Analyst opinion for the company stands at six strong buys, zero moderate buys, seven holds, zero moderate sells, and zero sells, with an average price target of $47.45, yielding a 26.47% average potential upside. The stock also looks to have established a linear, up-trending support floor (see below) that it has yet to fall below since its August lows.



6. Health Net Inc. (HNT) fell to a $21.00 low last month and has since climbed to its current $25.29, yielding a 20.43% return from this support level. The stock is now trading 2.81% above its 20-day SMA, 1.31% above its 50-day SMA, and 13.06% below its 200-day SMA.

Analyst opinion for the company stands at two strong buys, zero moderate buys, eleven holds, one moderate sell, and one sell, with an average price target of $31.00, yielding a 22.58% average potential upside. The stock also looks to have established a linear, up-trending support floor (see below) that it has yet to fall below since its August lows.



7. Amerigroup Corp. (AGP) fell to a $40.00 low last month and has since used this price level as support. The stock is now trading just above this support floor, at $42.97, currently yielding a 7.43% return.

Analyst opinion for the company stands at five strong buys, one moderate buy, seven holds, one moderate sell, and zero sells, with an average price target of $52.07, yielding a 21.18% average potential upside. While technical indicators look very strong for AGP (see below) and show signs of a continued movement upward, wise investors will likely protect from losses at the above-mentioned $40.00 support floor.



8. WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (WCG) fell to a $35.00 low last month and has since climbed to its current $42.16, yielding a 20.46% return from this support level. The stock is now trading 3.02% below its 20-day SMA, 4.49% below its 50-day SMA, and 1.82% above its 200-day SMA.

Analyst opinion for the company stands at one strong buy, one moderate buy, nine holds, zero moderate sells, and zero sells, with an average price target of $52.22, yielding a 23.86% average potential upside. The stock also looks to have established a linear, up-trending support floor (see below) that it has yet to fall below since its August lows.



9. Centene Corp. (CNC) fell to a $26.00 low last month and has since climbed to its current $31.02, yielding a 19.31% return from this support level. The stock is now trading 0.92% above its 20-day SMA, 0.19% below its 50-day SMA, and 0.73% below its 200-day SMA.

Analyst opinion for the company stands at five strong buys, zero moderate buys, seven holds, one moderate sell, and zero sells, with an average price target of $38.75, yielding a 24.92% average potential upside. The stock also looks to have established a linear, up-trending support floor (see below) that it has yet to fall below since its August lows.



10. Magellan Health Services Inc. (MGLN) fell to a $42.00 low last month and has since climbed to its current $48.25, yielding a 14.88% return from this support level. The stock is now trading 1.70% above its 20-day SMA, 0.19% below its 50-day SMA, and 2.54% below its 200-day SMA.

Analyst opinion for the company stands at three strong buys, one moderate buy, zero holds, one moderate sell, and zero sells, with an average price target of $56.00, yielding a 16.06% average potential upside. The stock also looks to have established a linear, up-trending support floor (see below) that it has yet to fall below since its August lows.



11. Molina Healthcare Inc. (MOH), like ESRX, has yet to establish solid support but looks to be consolidating around the $16.00 price level. As it is now trading just above this level, at $16.06, investors will likely watch price action very closely until the stock moves significantly above $16.00.

Analyst opinion for the company stands at three strong buys, zero moderate buys, seven holds, one moderate sell, and zero sells, with an average price target of $23.20, yielding a 44.46% average potential upside. Though the stock has yet to establish solid support, analysts' price targets, as well as technical indicators (see below), prove that this stock may have significant potential.



12. Metropolitan Health Networks Inc. (MDF)
fell to a $4.50 low last month and has since used this price level as support. The stock is now trading just above this support floor, at $4.64, yielding a 3.11% return.

Analyst opinion for the company stands at three strong buys, zero moderate buys, one hold, zero moderate sells, and zero sells, with an average price target of $6.94, yielding a 49.57% average potential upside. The stock also looks to have established a linear, up-trending support floor (see below) that it has yet to fall below since its August lows.



13. American Dental Partners, Inc. (ADPI) has yet to show clear signs of consolidation or support, so investors are likely still wary of this stock. However, analyst opinion currently stands at two strong buys, one moderate buy, zero holds, zero moderate sells, and zero sells, with an average price target of $18.33, yielding an 85.90% average potential upside.

If ADPI can climb back above and stay above $10.00, a likely move according to technical indicators (see below), we may begin to see a reversal in trend and subsequent movement toward analysts' targets.



Data provided by Seekingalpha.com, Yahoo Finance, Finviz.com, Thomson Reuters, Zacks, and Kapitall.com.

Disclosure: I am long UNH.

Source: 13 Healthcare Stocks With 35% Average Upside