Baby Boomers are getting older, fatter and living longer. As a result just about any segment of the healthcare sector stands to benefit from just this paradigm, let alone the other factors that play into investor confidence in healthcare and that includes home healthcare. There has been an indisputable surge in demand for home healthcare products and services in the past few years and this translates into myriad companies that provide those needed services in the small-cap sector of the market.
Besides boasting an endearing name, Almost Family Inc. (NASDAQ: AFAM) is also a solid contender in the home healthcare industry. Trading at $20.00 per share the company has a market cap of $186.72 million. Over the past year, shares have traded in a range of $16.12 to $26.87 and now at $20.00, are a healthy 25 percent above that low. Looking at the charts, the company has been a strong mover throughout January 2013 which has prompted Zacks to issue a strong buy. The company paid a special dividend at the end of December to shareholders of interest of $2.00. Currently the dividend yield is more endearing than its name; 9.9 percent.
Competitors such as Gentiva Health Services Inc. (NASDAQ: GTIV) and LHC Group Inc. (NASADQ: LHCG) are also worthy of consideration in this segment. They both provide home healthcare and are on upward trends at the moment. The companies have market caps of $318.74 million and $386.94 million respectively. LHC is trading in the range of $21.94 while Gentiva is trading at half that number; $10.41. Gentiva also has the lowest price to earnings ratio in this segment of the healthcare market at 7.64. Shares have been fairly volatile over the past year for Gentiva with a high of $29.21 and a low of $2.81. Current price indicates a strong upward trend of over 240 percent from the 52 week low. In the past year, shares of LHC Group have traded between a low of $12.53 and a high of $22.21. At the current price $21.94, shares are trading at almost 70 percent above the low price.
As stated earlier, this segment is a fast growing, solid portion of the healthcare industry. It is gaining traction with investors and it is almost certain that companies that are small today with nice entry points will not be small or as affordable tomorrow.