Sector Snap: UBS upbeat on medical tech stocks

ubsA UBS analyst said Wednesday that medical technology stocks are trading at attractive prices, and raised his ratings or price targets on nine of them.

Analyst Bruce Nudell upgraded shares of medical device maker Boston Scientific Corp. and orthopedic implant maker Zimmer Holdings Inc. to “buy” from “neutral.” He said stock prices throughout the sector should improve as expectations on health care reform become more concrete and less negative.

Nudell raised his price target on Zimmer shares to $64 from $59, and his price target on Boston Scientific to $10 per share from $9.50.

In afternoon trading, Zimmer stock rose $1.32, or 2.3 percent, to $58.07. Earlier, shares of the Kalamazoo, Mich., company set an annual high of $58.18. Shares of Boston Scientific, which is based in Natick, Mass., rose 9 cents to $8.36.

The analyst also raised his target on Abbott Laboratories, to $61 per share from $57 per share; Baxter International Inc., to $64 per share from $62 per share; Edwards Lifesciences Corp., to $90 per share from $89 per share; Johnson & Johnson, to $70 per share from $67 per share; Medtronic Inc., to $50 per share from $49 per share; St. Jude Medical Inc., to $42 per share from $40 per share; and Stryker Corp., to $59 per share from $58 per share.

Stocks in the sector were mixed in Wednesday trading. Shares of St. Jude Medical, a heart device maker, rose 37 cents to $35.04, and shares of specialty drug and medical device maker Baxter added 59 cents to $55.53. On the losing side were orthopedic implant maker Stryker, which fell 21 cents to $49.13, and drug and device maker Abbott dipped 22 cents to $53.09.