2 monster stocks in the making I’d buy today

The healthcare sector continues to offer a compelling investment opportunity. The world’s population is still growing and it is also ageing. This could mean that demand for healthcare services rises, and this may provide a tailwind for companies operating across the sector.

In addition, healthcare stocks may provide defensive attributes that could become useful should the current bull market come to an end. With this in mind, here are two healthcare companies which could perform well in the long run.

Improving performance

Reporting on Tuesday was UK independent hospital group Spire Healthcare (LSE: SPI). It released a trading update for the 2017 financial year which showed that it is making progress with its strategy. It expects to report revenue for the 2017 financial year of between £929m and £932m, with underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of between £149m and £151m. Its net debt is expected to be around £465m as at the end of December 2016.

These results would be in line with previous expectations and could cause investors to become more upbeat about the company’s prospects. After all, Spire Healthcare currently trades at what seems to be a discount to its intrinsic value. It is forecast to post a rise in earnings of 5% this year and 12% next year, yet it has a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 1.2. This suggests that it could provide sustainable share price growth in the long run.

With a network of UK private hospitals, the company offers a degree of stability which may become more valuable as Brexit talks progress. Therefore, its share price performance could be strong over the long run.

Buying opportunity

Also offering upside potential within the healthcare sector is opioid addiction specialist Indivior (LSE: INDV). The company has endured a hugely volatile period, with threats to its key brands from generic competition. While this volatility could continue, there could be a buying opportunity for the long run. The company has significant financial strength which may help it to fend off threats to its key drugs, while also providing the opportunity for it to invest in its product offering.

Investor sentiment now seems to have returned to previous highs after a challenging period in 2017. The stock now trades on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of around 14, but with its bottom line expected to have risen by 10% in 2017 it could be worthy of a higher rating within what may become an increasingly popular sector.

With the market for opioid addition being vast and having the potential to grow in the coming years, Indivior could enjoy a tailwind over the long run. While less defensive and stable than many of its sector peers, the potential rewards on offer could be significant. As such, now could be the perfect time to buy it.

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Peter Stephens has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.