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AI Stocks 2020-2035 15 Year Trend Forecast

Healthcare Stocks to Benefit from Growing Obesity Concerns

Companies / Healthcare Sector Nov 10, 2014 - 04:42 PM GMT

By: DailyGainsLetter


George Leong writes: It’s headline news: America is getting bigger around the waistline and that means that there’s a greater potential for higher healthcare issues down the road—which isn’t a good sign for a healthcare system that is already struggling. (Maybe the government should offer monetary incentives, such as tax credits, for those who join gyms or pursue other healthy alternatives.)

Even though America is struggling with obesity, Americans realize the issues and consequencesthat go along with obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle.

And this is now happening on a worldwide scale. China, for instance, is beginning to see obesity issues surface and rates climb; more alarming is the fact that obesity is occurring withinChina’s youth demographic. While I’m not blaming the problems on the emergence of fast foods in China, you can’t ignore the fact that China currently has thousands of fast food outlets, such as McDonalds Corporation (NYSE/MCD) and the extremely popular Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC),owned by YUM! Brands, Inc. (NYSE/YUM).

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there are more than 500 million people worldwide who are considered obese. (If you count those who are classified as “overweight,” that number skyrockets.)And the numbers in the U.S. are staggering.

Perhaps it’s the rush to have dinner ready and on the table that calls for the need for fast foods, or maybe it’s simply that it’s more convenient. Whatever the reason, obesity is a national and global issue.

But what does this have to do with you, the investor? Well, there may be an investment opportunity or two in it for you.

A small-cap investment opportunity in the weight control area that is worth a closer look is Medifast,Inc. (NYSE/MED, $30.09, market cap: $383million). The company produces and markets weight management and disease management products, as well asconsumable health and diet products. These products are sold under the“Medifast” brand and include meal replacements and vitamins geared toward helping people lose weight and control their waistlines.

Medifast Inc Chart

Chart courtesy of

The company’s underlying quarterly results look pretty good, with the stock beating the Thomson Financial consensus earnings-per-share (EPS) estimates in four straight quarters. These numbers make Medifast a great example of an investment opportunity benefiting from the attention obesity is getting worldwide.

For Medifast, revenues are estimated to contract 10.4% to $319.78 million this year, followed by a 4.7% gain to $334.7 million in 2015, according to Thomson Financial.For 2014, earnings are estimated to rise to $1.75 per diluted share, followed by $1.94 per diluted share in 2015, also according to Thomson Financial.

Medifast trades at a reasonable 15.51 times its estimated fiscal 2015 EPS and may be a goodinvestment opportunity.

Also on the small-cap end, a health foods company that may be an investment opportunity right nowis Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NYSE/NGVC, $18.17, market cap: $408 million). The stock recently slipped below $20.00 after trading above $40.00, which suggests an investment opportunity on weakness.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Company Chart

Chart courtesy of

Vitamin Cottage operates nationwide and sells more than 25,000 organic and all-natural products, comprising gluten-free products, USDA-certified organic produce, all-natural body care products, and a significant offering of vitamins, minerals, and herbs.

In my view, the selling in Vitamin Cottage is overdone, so I could see a good risk-to-rewardinvestment opportunity here. Earnings are estimated to rise in FY14 and FY15. According to Thomson Financial,revenue growth looks good, with estimates calling for 20.8% growth to $520.36 million in FY14, and 9.3% growth to $620.74 million in FY15.

So while the media continues to focus on the growing obesity problem in America, investors can look to the corresponding investment opportunity to profit.

This article Two Healthcare Stocks to Benefit from Growing Obesity Concerns was originally published at Daily Gains Letter

© 2014 Copyright Daily Gains Letter - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

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