The 15 Most-Watched Medical-Device Stocks

People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.

With this data we have come up with a new metric, watch interest, to inform investors what stocks their peers keep tabs on in each industry. In the case of the medical-device industry, watch interest is the percentage of people keeping an eye on medical device stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. By looking at what stocks people are most interested in within an industry, you can get ahead of the curve by finding hot stocks that you might have otherwise overlooked.

The most-watched medical-device stock is ...
Looking at the aggregate data, we see that Medtronic (NYS: MDT) is above the rest in terms of watch interest and for good reason. As CAPS player glenncv wrote in May:

MDT is one of my Core Stocks in my personal portfolio. There are many reasons to love this company for the next 10-20 years from now. Below are a few reasons from my notes:

*MDT is a medical technology company with a rich pipeline. They use this pipeline to dominate market share in almost all of their segments that they compete in.

*This is nothing new, but our population is getting older and this is good news for MDT. It is estimated that the population that is in their 60s in the United States alone will increase from 18% to 25%. 

*(In the financial department), while they have some debt on their balance sheet, their overall finance is pretty healthy. They general about $3.8 billion in free cash flow every year for the last 5 years and counting. Presently the stock is selling at 11 times forward earnings.

* And to put icing on the cake; they offer a 2.13% dividend Yield. Sounds like a great company to me. Long MDT.

Here are the rest of the top 15 most-watched companies in the industry and their watch interest, along with the stocks' CAPS rating to show the sentiment of our investing community.



Market Cap (Millions)

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Watch Interest

2Intuitive Surgical (NAS: ISRG) $14,827*****10.6%
3Boston Scientific (NYS: BSX) $10,346**6.6%
4Becton, Dickinson (NYS: BDX) $17,435*****5.5%
5Stryker (NYS: SYK) $20,220*****3.8%
6MELA Sciences (NAS: MELA) $59**3.4%
7Delcath Systems (NAS: DCTH) $218**2.8%
8Hologic (NAS: HOLX) $4,595****2.8%
9Baxter International (NYS: BAX) $31,629****2.5%
10Covidien (NYS: COV) $24,085****2.3%
11MAKO Surgical (NAS: MAKO) $1,117****2.0%
12Zimmer Holdings (NYS: ZMH) $11,045****1.4%
13St. Jude Medical (NYS: STJ) $14,703****1.4%
14Hansen Medical (NAS: HNSN) $226****1.4%
15Antares Pharma (ASE: AIS) $228****1.4%

Sources: The Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.

Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like Medtronic or are watching an up-and-comer like Hansen Medical, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock-tracking service. Get started now!

FollowDan Dzombakon Twitter at@DanDzombakto check out hismusings and see what articles he finds interesting.

At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Zimmer Holdings, St. Jude Medical, and Medtronic.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of MAKO Surgical, Stryker, Covidien, Becton, and Intuitive Surgical. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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