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Stocks at the mid-cap level present an interesting opportunity. Companies of this size tend to offer a nice balance between growth potential and a reduction of the risk associated with small-caps. To find healthcare stocks that illustrate that balance, we looked specifically for those with impressive EPS growth projections in the next year. In addition, we reduced the list to include those that received a recent 'Buy' or 'Strong Buy' rating from industry analysts. We think you will find our list rather intriguing.

EPS growth (earnings per share growth) illustrates the growth of earnings per share over time. The 1-Year Expected EPS Growth Rate is an annual growth estimate, where the growth projections are made by analysts, the company or other credible sources.

We first looked for mid cap healthcare stocks. We next screened for businesses that analysts rate as "Buy" or "Strong Buy" (mean recommendation < 3). We then looked for companies that have expected earnings per share growth of more than 25 percent for next year(1-year projected EPS Growth Rate>25%).

Do you think these mid-cap stocks have strong operations? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

1) Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ONXX)

SectorHealthcare
IndustryBiotechnology
Market Cap$4.41B
Beta1.21

ONXX stock chart

Key Metrics

Analysts' Rating1.80
1-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate40.10%
Short Interest9.17%

Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the development and commercialization of therapies that target the molecular mechanisms that cause cancer in the United States and internationally. The company, through its collaboration agreement with Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., develops and markets Nexavar (sorafenib) tablet, a multiple kinase inhibitor for the treatment of liver cancer and advanced kidney cancer.

2) Centene Corp. (NYSE:CNC)

SectorHealthcare
IndustryHealth Care Plans
Market Cap$2.06B
Beta1.09

CNC stock chart

Key Metrics

Analysts' Rating2.40
1-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate80.54%
Short Interest9.76%

Centene Corporation operates as a multiline healthcare company in the United States. It operates through two segments, Medicaid Managed Care and Specialty Services. The Medicaid Managed Care segment provides Medicaid and Medicaid-related health plan coverage to individuals through government subsidized programs, including Medicaid, the State children's health insurance program, foster care, and Medicare special needs plans, as well as aged, blind, or disabled programs. Its health plans principally provide primary and specialty physician care, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, transportation assistance, emergency and urgent care, vision care, prenatal care, dental care, laboratory and x-ray services, immunizations, prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, home health and durable medical equipment, behavioral health and substance abuse services, therapies, social work services, care coordination, and 24-hour nurse advice line.

3) Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE:BKD)

SectorHealthcare
IndustryLong-Term Care Facilities
Market Cap$2.43B
Beta3.02

BKD stock chart

Key Metrics

Analysts' Rating1.70
1-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate206.20%
Short Interest4.44%

Brookdale Senior Living Inc. owns and operates senior living communities in the United States. The company owns, leases, and operates retirement centers, assisted living and dementia-care communities, and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). Its retirement centers offer basic services, such as meal, 24-hour emergency response, housekeeping, concierge, transportation, and recreational services; supplemental care services, including medication reminders, check-in services, and escort and companion services; and various education, wellness, therapy, home health, and other ancillary services.

4) Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ:INCY)

SectorHealthcare
IndustryBiotechnology
Market Cap$2.46B
Beta2.10

INCY stock chart

Key Metrics

Analysts' Rating1.80
1-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate91.80%
Short Interest12.10%

Incyte Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of proprietary small molecule drugs for oncology and inflammation. The company offers JAKAFI, an oral janus associated kinase inhibitor for the treatment of patients with intermediate or high-risk myelofibrosis (MF), including primary MF, post-polycythemia vera MF, and post-essential thrombocythemia MF. The company's product pipe line includes INCB18424, which is in Phase III clinical trial for polycythemia vera; Phase II trial for essential thrombocythemia; Phase II trial for pancreatic cancer; Phase I/II trial to treat solid tumors/other hematologic malignancies.

*Company profiles were sourced from Google Finance and Yahoo Finance. Financial data was sourced from Finviz on 08/21/2012.

Source: 4 Mid-Cap Healthcare Stocks With Strong Projected Growth And Analyst Backing