Is this share the ASX 200’s best healthcare buy?

Health professional putting on gloves.Health professional putting on gloves.

Could this embattled S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) healthcare share be a buy right now? Fundies seemingly think so, tipping the glove manufacturer to do big things in the future.

It follows a rough couple of years for the Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN) share price. The stock tumbled 9.4% over 2021 before dumping another 10.4% last year. It currently trades at $28.17.

Comparatively, the ASX 200 gained 13% in 2021 and slipped 5.4% over 2022.

So, what has experts talking about the stock in 2023? Let’s take a look.

Is this ASX 200 healthcare share a 2023 buy?

Interestingly, while Ansell falls among healthcare shares, it could also be described as an industrial company. That’s because it mainly produces gloves and other personal protective equipment.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the company’s earnings took off during the COVID-19 pandemic, driving the Ansell share price to a record high in June 2021.

And while its inflated financial year 2021 earnings didn’t stick around for financial year 2022, the market reacted positively to news its revenue reached US$1.9 billion last fiscal year, with Macquarie experts reportedly seeing “solid underlying trends”.

Indeed, many experts tip the ASX 200 healthcare share’s future to be bright. Allan Gray managing director and chief investment officer Simon Mawhinney believes it offers both defensive earnings and good value, saying:

Even though [Ansell] is somewhat exposed to economic cycles, for the most part, they are non-discretionary spends.

[I]mportantly, the share price that you pay today is low relative to earnings. We think you buy a company like Ansell for around 14 times earnings and those earnings, we think, will grow at low single digit percentages.

If you contrast that with the stock market perhaps if we’re lucky, a similar growth rate in earnings, but a good 30% or so more expensive.

The ASX 200 healthcare share also looks like a good opportunity on a technical basis, according to Fairmont Equities managing director and founder Michael Gable. He recently flagged the stock as a buy, saying via The Bull:

The share price has been trending higher since June 2022 and breached resistance at $28 in late October. The technical chart remains bullish … the stock is in a strong uptrend, with no signs of weakness.

The post Is this share the ASX 200’s best healthcare buy? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Ansell. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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