Due to better technologies, growing and ageing populations, and increased chronic disease burden, demand for healthcare services is expected to grow strongly over the long term.
This could make it a great place to look for buy and hold investment options. But which ASX healthcare shares should you buy? Here are two highly rated options:
Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)
The first ASX healthcare share to look at is Cochlear. It is a global leader in the development, manufacture, and distribution of cochlear implantable devices for the hearing impaired.
Last month Cochlear released its half year results. While the company posted a decline in earnings, the decline was far less than expected given the tough trading conditions it is facing.
For the six months ended 31 December, Cochlear recorded an underlying net profit of $125.3 million. This profit was down only 4% in constant currency from its record first half profit in the prior corresponding period. That period was of course pre-COVID-19.
Looking ahead, as hearing loss is typically a part of getting older, the company looks well-placed to benefit from the ageing populations tailwind. Especially given the industry’s high barriers to entry, its wide distribution network, and its significant investment in research and development.
Macquarie is positive on the company. Its analysts currently have an outperform rating and $245.00 price target on Cochlear’s shares.
Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME)
Another healthcare share to look at is Pro Medicus. It is a healthcare technology company that provides radiology information systems (RIS), picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), and advanced visualisation solutions to healthcare organisations globally.
Thanks to strong demand for its offering, Pro Medicus has been growing at a strong rate over the last few years.
Goldman Sachs has been pleased with its form in FY 2021. It recently upgraded Pro Medicus’ shares to a buy rating with a $53.80 price target.
Goldman’s analysts note that the company continues to win large contracts, even in a difficult operating environment. The broker believes this leaves it well-positioned to grow its earnings at a rapid rate over the coming years.