Alliance Pharma (LSE: APH) and Advanced Medical Solutions (LSE: AMS) have both released upbeat results today giving us clues as to whether now is the right time to buy them for the long term.

Alliance Pharma

Alliance Pharma’s interim results show that it’s making strong progress following the acquisition of assets from Sinclair Pharma. They’ve contributed to a rise in half-year revenue of 104%, but even with their impact excluded Alliance Pharma’s top line rose by an impressive 6%. This contributed to an increase in pre-tax profit of 113%, which allowed Alliance Pharma to raise dividends by 10%. This puts it on a yield of 2.5%.

Looking ahead, Alliance Pharma has opportunities to expand its international capabilities. This will be made easier by the acquisition of products from Sinclair Pharma and Alliance Pharma now has a stronger foothold in the international space. It has particular growth potential in the EU and when combined with sterling’s weakness, it’s in a strong position.

In fact, Alliance Pharma is forecast to grow its earnings by 8% in the next financial year. This puts it on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 11.8, which indicates that it offers a wide margin of safety as well as considerable upward rerating potential.

Advanced Medical Solutions

Also reporting today was Advanced Medical Solutions. Its sales increased by 17% at constant currency in the first half of its current year. It recorded good sales progress across all of its business units and made particularly strong progress in the US with its LiquiBand tissue adhesive range. In fact, LiquiBand’s sales increased by 83% and its market share by volume rose to 19% in the combined hospital and non-hospital market.

This strong performance caused Advanced Medical Solutions’ pre-tax profit to increase by 13% versus the previous period. It expects this performance to continue since the business is in robust health and its R&D programme provides significant innovation potential over the medium-to-long term.

Furthermore, Advanced Medical Solutions has the financial firepower to make acquisitions. They could boost profit growth, although in any case it’s forecast to increase earnings by 7% in each of the next two financial years. This puts it on a forward P/E ratio of 29.6 and while this may seem high, Advanced Medical Solutions has a very stable business model that has delivered profit growth in every one of the last five years. As a result, it offers a relatively low-risk outlook.

Looking Ahead

With the UK economy’s future being highly uncertain, investing in healthcare stocks such as Alliance Pharma and Advanced Medical Solutions makes sense. Both stocks are internationally focused and they offer excellent growth prospects in the long run. Crucially, they’re less dependent on the performance of the UK economy than is the case for most companies. Their gains of 12% (Alliance Pharma) and 29% (Advanced Medical Solutions) since the start of the year therefore look set to continue.

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Peter Stephens owns shares of Advanced Medical Solutions and Alliance Pharma. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Advanced Medical Solutions. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.