The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is home to a good number of shares with true blue chip status. But given the many options that investors have, it can be hard to decide which ones to include in your portfolio.
In order to narrow things down, I have picked out two blue chip ASX 200 shares which are highly rated right now. They are as follows:
Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)
The first blue chip ASX 200 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.
Cochlear was impacted greatly by the pandemic, but has bounced back incredibly quickly. For example, in February the company released its half year results and revealed an underlying net profit of $125.3 million.
This was down only 4% in constant currency from its record first half profit in the prior corresponding period. That period was before anyone had even heard of COVID-19.
Positively, given favourable tailwinds such as ageing populations, Cochlear looks well-placed to resume its growth in the second half and throughout the 2020s. This could make it a great buy and hold option.
Macquarie is a fan of Cochlear. Its analysts have an outperform rating and $245.00 price target on its shares.
Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL)
Another blue chip ASX 200 share to buy could be Sonic Healthcare. It is a leading healthcare provider with specialist operations in laboratory medicine, pathology, diagnostic imaging, radiology, general practice medicine, and corporate medical services.
Sonic has been a very strong performer in FY 2021. During the first half of FY 2021, the company delivered a 33% increase in revenue to $4.4 billion and a 166% jump in first half net profit to $678 million.
A key driver of this growth was COVID-19 testing services. In fact, Sonic revealed that by the end of December, it had performed more than 18 million COVID-19 PCR tests across ~60 Sonic laboratories globally.
Positively, the rest of the business has been recovering strongly from the pandemic. The company revealed that global base business revenue (ex-COVID testing) was down 1% versus the prior corresponding period. It is worth noting that the prior period was of course pre-pandemic.
Morgan Stanley is positive on the company. It currently has an overweight rating and $39.80 price target on its shares. It expects Sonic to benefit from ongoing COVID testing and a recovery in base business volumes.
Where to invest $1,000 right now
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*Returns as of February 15th 2021
James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Cochlear Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Cochlear Ltd. and Sonic Healthcare Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.