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Are these 3 healthcare shares in the buy zone today?

So far in 2017 the healthcare industry has certainly been the place to be for investors. Year-to-date the S&P/ASX 200 Health Care (Index: ^AXHJ) (ASX: XHJ) has vastly outperformed the market as a whole with its 12% gain.

Below are three healthcare shares that I felt warranted a close look.. but are they in the buy zone?

The Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN) share price hasn’t managed to follow the sector higher this year and is down 7% year-to-date. A mixed half-year result appears to be the reason for this. Whilst I think that Ansell has a strong business with defensive qualities, at around 18x annualised earnings I think its shares could be classed as fully valued now. For this reason I would hold off an investment for the time being.

The Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (ASX: MYX) share price has fallen approximately 6% so far this year, bringing its six-month decline to a whopping 37%. Whilst price-fixing allegations and the Trump Administration’s plans to shake up the pharmaceutical industry may be weighing heavily on its shares, I believe the current share price provides investors with a compelling risk/reward. With a number of potentially lucrative drugs in its pipeline, I believe Mayne Pharma is one to buy and hold for the long-term.

The Nanosonics Ltd. (ASX: NAN) share price jumped 10% in the last month thanks to a solid first-half result. The growing popularity of the company’s ultrasound probe disinfection system drove the strong result. This system may soon get even more popular. New guidelines to establish broader requirements for high level disinfection of ultrasound probes internationally were recently announced. Management believes its technology is perfectly positioned to meet the new requirements. Its shares may be expensive, but I think it is a great buy and hold investment option.

Three other shares which I think are great buy and hold investments are listed here. Each looks set for a strong 2017, which I believe could result in market-beating returns.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Nanosonics Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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