Cochlear (ASX:COH) share price edges higher to break 52-week record

It’s been a great year so far for the hearing solutions company.

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The Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) share price has delivered a stellar performance so far in 2021.

Since the start of the year, the hearing solution company’s shares have continued on their upwards trajectory, gaining almost 30%.

However, today Cochlear shares reached an important milestone, breaking a new 52-week high of $244.62.

With no news released to the ASX today, let’s take a look at Cochlear’s most recent price-sensitive announcement.

What’s been pushing the Cochlear share price higher?

Investors have been buying up Cochlear shares over the last 6 months following the company’s positive February half-year results.

For the 6-month period, Cochlear reported sales revenue of $742.8 million, down 4% against the first half of FY20’s result. While this may appear disappointing, when looking closer, surgeries recovered towards the second quarter following the easing of COVID-19 shutdowns.

Sales revenue dropped 8% in the first quarter, but rebounded to edge 8% higher in the following 3 months (Q2 FY21). Cochlear attributed the performance to varying degrees of growth across established versus emerging international markets. The United States, Japan, South Korea, and China recorded robust sales, while India and Brazil struggled with volumes.

On the bottom line, the company posted an underlying net profit of $125.3 million, falling 6% against a COVID-free first-half period (H1 FY20). The result was driven by a solid recovery in sales revenue and lower operating expenses due to material COVID-related savings.

Cochlear is projecting it will achieve FY21 underlying net profit between $225 million and $245 million. This is a 46% to 59% increase on last year’s FY20 result.

The company noted that the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, and rapid return of surgeries, is a positive sign for its resilient business.

Broker update

After reporting its first-half results, a number of brokers rated the company with varying price points. Investment firm, Macquarie raised its price target for Cochlear by 1.7% to $245.00. Morgan Stanley followed suit to also increase its rating by 6.1% to $227.00. The most recent broker note came from Credit Suisse in late May, which initiated a price of $225.00 for the hearing solutions company.

At today’s market close, the Cochlear share price had slightly retreated from its 52-week high to $243.46, up 0.58% for the day.

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The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Cochlear Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Macquarie Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Cochlear Ltd. 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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