Here’s why these 3 stocks are soaring higher today

Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX:SRX) and Ansell Limited (ASX:ANN) are flying the flag for healthcare stocks.

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On a day that looks like seeing the S&P / ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) snap its record-breaking winning streak there are several healthcare and engineering businesses breaking the mould to fly higher. Let’s take a look at them and consider what could be behind the moves.

Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN) is a condom and protective glove maker that posted better-than-expected half-year results today. The company posted a net profit of US$87.7 million on revenues of US$847.3 million and said it had seen strong sales, acquisition outperformance and improved margins.

The stock has lifted 4.9% in response and given Ansell’s global exposure and opportunity to move into emerging markets it remains a solid future bet. Ansell also has distribution agreements with Starpharma Holdings Limited (ASX: SPL), which has gained 4 cents or 8% today.

MMA Offshore Ltd (ASX: MRM) the company formerly known as Mermaid Marine Australia has soared 7.26% to 97.5 cents, but remains down around 66% over the past year. The falls are related to the company’s exposure to servicing the oil and gas sector. Any sign of a decisive rebound in oil prices will likely prove a turning point for Mermaid Marine, this is because it is partly reliant for future work on new investment in the energy sector.

Today has likely seen some bargain hunting from investors who believe the company’s outlook is not as gloomy as beaten-down prices suggest.

Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX: SRX) is an innovative cancer treatment business with an evangelical-like following among some retail and institutional investors. The stock has rocketed more than 5% today to a record high of $31.21, as a consistently positive news flow keeps investor sentiment bullish on the company’s outlook.

The business currently has several clinical trials in progress including SIRFLOX, FOXFIRE and FOXFIRE Global, all of which are aimed at proving the effectiveness of its radiation therapy product in treating cancer. If it is able to translate clinical trial success into fast-growing sales the stock could keep climbing. However, given its valuation investors should probably put this one on the watchlist and wait for the company’s half-year report to be delivered on February 18.

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson owns shares in Sirtex Medical. You can find him on Twitter @tommyr345

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