7 “Strong Buy” Defensive Stocks for 2019

Market value: $49.7 billion

Dividend yield: N/A

TipRanks consensus price target: $42.71 (15% upside potential)

TipRanks consensus rating: Strong Buy

Health care stocks can certainly have their ups and downs – especially smaller biotechnology companies whose fates rest on one or only a few trial-stage drugs making it all the way to medical approval. But other healthcare stocks, with greater product diversification, are able to more safely take advantage of a generational shift. Roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers enter retirement each day, and as this massive generation continues to age, they require more medical products, services and attention.

One sometimes overlooked area is medical-tech, which includes the likes of Boston Scientific (BSX, $36.98). Boston Scientific is a medical-device maker whose hands are in several cookie jars, including cardiology, radiology, cardiac surgery and endoscopy, among other fields. That wide range ensures that something BSX makes is always in demand.

The stock, which has surged nearly 50% this year, is buzzing again on news that it’s acquiring U.K.-based surgical-device maker BTG plc for approximately $4.2 billion.

“We believe BTG’s interventional medicine (IM) segment complements BSX’s Peripheral Intervention (PI) business as well as other recent acquisitions” Needham’s Michael Matson cheers. Matson sees potential for upside to estimates given BTG’s geographic mix, cross-selling opportunities and cost synergies. As a result, he reiterated his “Strong Buy” rating with a $43 price target (16% upside potential).

“In contrast to BSX’s recent tuck-in deals, BTG is a larger deal and offers near-term accretion,” he says, which is good because accretive mergers and acquisitions are part of Needham’s larger bullish thesis on Boston Scientific. You can learn more about analysts’ views on this stock via TipRanks’ BSX Research Report.