Oberweis: With Biotech Pricey, Try Other Healthcare Options

Many biotech stocks have had exceptional runs over the past few years. But newsletter guru Jim Oberweis says that has led to some exorbitant valuations, and he says there are other ways to now play the healthcare sector.

“Explosive returns over the last four years have attracted hedge funds and retail investors alike to biotechnology stocks, but soaring stock valuations seem to underdiscount the probability of failure with clinical trials, which are binary outcomes and nearly impossible to predict,” Oberweis writes in his latest column for Forbes. “It’s time to pull in the reins and turn to some less sexy but more predictable health care stocks, especially those benefiting from the changing landscape of medical services, both at home and abroad.”

One stock he looks at is AMN Healthcare Services, a provider of temporary staffing of traveling nurses and physicians. “Health care visits are on the upswing in a cycle that tends to mirror the economy on a lagging basis and in this case is exacerbated by increased insurance coverage, thanks to ObamaCare, and, more subtly, aging demographics,” he writes. “The net effect has been an increase in insured patients and a decrease in uncompensated care, so hospitals need more nurses and have the extra money to get them. Over the longer term aging baby boomers will need more medical care, while aging nurses will exit the workforce faster than they can be replaced. Taken all together, there’s a shortage of doctors and nurses that isn’t going to end quickly.”