Is it time to buy Ansell Limited shares?

The last few years haven’t been the best for Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN) shareholders.

Back in March 2015 the supplier of health and safety solutions with customers in 100 countries saw its shares trade for around $27.77, but they have since shed more than 10 per cent.

Ansell’s shares are now trading for about $24.05.

But some believe the future is looking brighter for Ansell shareholders.

For financial year (FY) 2017 Ansell recorded sales of about US$1.6 billion, up 2 per cent on the previous year.

However, the company’s profit for FY 2017 dropped to US$148 million, down from a profit of about US$159 million for FY 2016.

In FY 2017 Ansell also reported EBIT of about US$218 million, down 7.5 per cent from the US$237 million the company reported the prior year.

The company attributed a number of factors to the decline but seemed to place an emphasis on acquisition costs.

In January last year Ansell announced it has acquired Nitritex Limited, “a fast-growing UK-based, manufacturer of premium cleanroom and healthcare Life Sciences consumables”, for a total consideration of £57 million including £12 million of cash.

Ansell stated the transaction was expected to be 2 cents EPS accretive in FY 18.

Last year, Ansell sold its Sexual Wellness business to Humanwell Healthcare Group Co Ltd. and CITIC Capital China Partners III for US$600 million, with the gains of the sale to be booked in FY 2018’s account.

Ansell’s Sexual Wellness business comprised about 14 per cent of the company’s total sales in FY 2017.

The company also sold its Brazilian condom business, Fabrica de Artefatos de Latex Blowtex Ltda, which Ansell bought in 2007.

And it seems some think Ansell’s strategy will pay off.

Broker Ord Minnett upgraded Ansell’s shares to an ‘accumulate’ rating with an increased price target of $25.50 in October last year.

The company’s share price has posted gains since then, although it still remains short of Ord Minnet’s target.

While it’s likely things will turnaround for Ansell, I would be inclined to wait for the company’s half year results, due to be released next month, before investing in the company.

If you’re looking for exposure to the healthcare sector, companies such as CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) and Nanosonics Ltd. (ASX: NAN) would be worth considering before jumping on Ansell.

The Disruptors: 3 Revolutionary Aussie Companies to Back for 2018

We’re living in one of the most exciting times in investing history. Innovation and a booming culture of entrepreneurship are constantly creating new companies with the potential to make forward-thinking investors very rich. Now more than ever, one small, smart investment could make a huge difference to your wealth.

That’s why at The Motley Fool we’ve been scrutinizing the ASX to uncover the kinds of companies that we believe could turn into the next Cochlear or REA Group.

We’ve found three exciting companies that we believe re poised to perform in the new year. Click here to uncover these ideas!

Motley Fool contributor Steve Holland has no position in any of the 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.

The 5 mining stocks we’re recommending in 2019…

For decades, Australian mining companies have minted money for individual investors like you and me. But if you believe the pundits and talking heads on TV, those days are long gone. Finito! Behind us forever…

We say nothing could be further from the truth. To earn the really massive returns, you’ve got to fish where others aren’t fishing—and the mining sector could be primed for a resurgence. That’s why top Motley Fool analysts just revealed their exciting new research on 5 ASX miners they believe could help you profit in 2019 and beyond…


The best way we see to play the global zinc shortage… Our #1 favourite large-cap miner (hint: it’s not BHP)… one early-stage gold miner we think could hit the motherlode… Plus two more surprising companies you probably haven’t heard of yet!

For free access to our brand-new research, simply click here or the link below. But be warned, this research is available free for a limited time only, and we reserve the right to withdraw it at any time.

Click here for your FREE report!