Another Medtech Stock Has Quietly Slipped Into Lead in S&P 500

(Bloomberg) -- Move over Netflix Inc. and Twitter Inc., there’s a new top stock in town.

Abiomed Inc. investors celebrated as the stock more than tripled over the last year. That party may not be over after it replaced Wyndham Worldwide Corp. in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index last month. The heart support pump maker’s run-up has been a long time coming, and its recent rally is unlikely to end here, according to Jefferies analyst Raj Denhoy. Shares climbed as much as 3.4 percent today, extending a three-day advance to another record high.

“There aren’t a lot of alternatives that physicians have to this technology and there’s really no competition,” Denhoy, who boasts a Street-high target of $460, said in a telephone interview. “There are few, if any, medical device stories that have all of the facets that Abiomed does.”

Another Medtech Stock Has Quietly Slipped Into Lead in S&P 500

The device-maker, now with a $19 billion market capitalization, has long been regarded as a takeout target, given a differentiated product that remains years ahead of potential competition. That view continues to prevail, Denhoy said. “But the valuation is pretty high so an acquirer would have to make the case that the opportunity is as enormous and open-ended as we think it is.”

Abiomed may continue the trend of medical device and technology companies overtaking the top spot in the S&P 500 after Align Technology Inc. topped the index in 2017. For a health sub-sector that tends to be less flashy than peers in biotechnology or pharmaceuticals, it has delivered a number of the best performers in the Standard and Poor’s 500 Health Care Index this year -- including Idexx Laboratories Inc. and Boston Scientific Corp.

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