Why I think Cochlear Limited and Ramsay Health Care Limited are shares to buy today


With a life expectancy of 82.3 years, Australia has one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world. In fact, government figures show it is one of just six countries worldwide with a life expectancy of over 80 years.

Because Australians are living longer, demand for healthcare products is at an all-time high and several Australian healthcare companies have benefited greatly. This makes it a great time to be invested in the sector.

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has a number of quality healthcare shares for investors to choose from and I believe these two shares could be great additions to your portfolio today.

Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)

When Warren Buffett searches for an investment he looks for something he calls an economic moat. This essentially is a competitive advantage which the company holds to protect its long-term profits and market share.

I believe hearing implant maker Cochlear has a very wide economic moat, which will solidify its position as the market leader for many years to come. Its interim results showed just how powerful this position is, with the company reporting a 32% rise in profit to $94 million along with robust sales growth.

Thanks to its market-leading position and best-in-class products, I would expect the company to continue to grow its bottom line at a similar rate for the next few years.

Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC)

Shareholders of this growing healthcare service provider have had a disappointing start to the year. They are currently nursing a loss of just under 9% so far in 2016, following a decline related to the company’s decision to back out of a joint venture in China.

But Ramsay Health Care has a thriving business with 226 hospitals and medical centres in operation currently. This has helped it to grow its earnings by an average of 17% per year in the last 10 years, and analysts expect this growth rate to accelerate to 21% per year through to 2018.

The company has not just benefitted from Australia’s ageing population. With 124 facilities in France and numerous others spread out around the world, the company has worldwide exposure which will continue to support its explosive growth.

Although the recent joint venture was shelved, I expect in the next few years we will finally see the company opening up in China. This could be the start of a new growth phase which provides shareholders with fantastic returns. For me this makes the shares a compelling buy at the current share price.

I believe these two blue chip shares would be great additions to your portfolio today. But don’t stop there, these three blue chips with fully franked dividends could send your portfolio soaring.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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