Could the Cochlear (ASX:COH) share price hit $260 by the end of 2021?

Could this healthcare share push higher from here?

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a woman leans forward with her hand behind her ear, as if trying to hear information.

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The Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) share price has been a decent performer in 2021.

Since the start of the year, the hearing solutions company’s shares have gained 13% to $214.92.

Could the Cochlear share price hit $260 by the end of the year?

The good news for investors is that one leading broker still sees a lot of upside in Cochlear share price.

According to a recent note out of Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG), its analysts have an outperform rating and $256.00 price target on the company’s shares.

Based on the current Cochlear share price, this implies potential upside of 19% for investors from current levels. This potential return stretches to approximately 20.5% if you include the $3.04 per share dividend the broker is forecasting in FY 2022.

All in all, Macquarie appears to see potential for the Cochlear share price to be trading close to $260.00 by the end of the year.

Why is the broker positive on Cochlear?

Macquarie was pleased with Cochlear’s performance in FY 2021 and appears to believe the company is well-placed for growth in the coming years.

This is due to Cochlear being positively leveraged to a recovery in activity levels post-pandemic.

Macquarie is forecasting earnings per share of $4.34 in FY 2022, which will be a 20% increase on the earnings per share it reported in FY 2021.

Looking further ahead, the broker is then forecasting more strong growth in FY 2023. It has pencilled in earnings per share of $5.52, which represents an increase of 27.2% on the broker’s FY 2022 estimate.

Based on this, the broker sees a lot of value in the Cochlear share price at the current level and appears to believe the recent pullback could be a buying opportunity for investors.

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Motley Fool contributor 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 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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