5 Top Performing Life Science ETFs

- February 19th, 2018

Who are the top performing ETFs in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and life sciences markets year-to-date?

Advantages to owning a life science ETF–such as a biotech or pharma ETF–means investors can learn which companies are making the most gains in those sectors without the risk of buying shares in single companies. The amount each holding is weighted is constantly fluctuating to match the market demands and ideally, give investors the best return.

An exchange traded fund (ETF) tracks multiple companies in the market under one umbrella. As it relates to the the life science sector, it can find and expose niche companies for potential investors looking to diversify their portfolio.

With that in mind, here INN took a look at the following top performing ETFs, in the life biotechnology and life science index on ETF Database.

Biotech Stocks in 2018

 
Find out how the market will look this year

1. Health Care SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLV)

Top on the list, XLV, has 62 holdings and total assets valued at $16.49 billion. This ETF has had a 96.75 percent return in the last five years—surprisingly low for its category and companies it represents. It’s relatively evenly weighted with 51.84 percent of assets in the top 10.

XLV is a popular option for investors interested in the US healthcare sector, and has some of the biggest names in the industry—especially at the top of the holdings. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is the index’s top holding, followed up by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE).

2. iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ:IBB)

This fund concentrates in companies using biomedical research for new treatments or cures for human disease. Its top fund holdings are Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), and Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB).

With 197 holdings, IBB’s total assets are $9.67 billion and it has a medium percentage of assets in the top 15 at 60.96 percent. In the last five years, IBB has had a return of 122.02 percent for its share holders.

3. Vanguard Health Care ETF (NYSEARCA:VHT)

VHT has the most holdings on this list at 361, including  the same top companies as XLV. Others lower on the list are: AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), Merck (NYSE:MRK), and Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN).

This is a broad fund with health care firms from multiple varied industries in the market. The total assets of VHT are $7.33 billion, with 83 percent of those assets in its top 50. The ETF has had a 105.33 percent increase for investors over the last five years.

4. SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSEARCA:XBI)

This ETF was created in 2006, it tracks common stocks with biotech and small numbers on pharma. Its index dividend yield is low at 0.23 percent and its total assets are $4.679 billion. In the last five years, XIB has had a 185.56 percent return increase.

With 108 holdings, some of XIB’s top fund holdings include Bioverativ (NASDAQ:BIVV), Array BioPharma (NASDAQ:ARRY), and Juno Therapeutics (NASDAQ:JUNO).

5. iShares U.S. Healthcare ETF (NYSEARCA:IYH)

With more big healthcare names in its top holdings, ETFdb.com states this holding is better for investors, “looking to establish a tactical tilt towards health care or for use in a sector rotation strategy.” Its total assets is $1.940 billion and it has a medium category percent of assets in the top 15 holdings at 60.60 percent.

With 117 holdings, IYH’s top holdings are Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE). It’s clear these holdings are making gains for investors as they are also the top three for XLV and VHT. This fund has returned 107.19 percent for investors in the last five years.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Gabrielle Lakusta, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Biotech Stocks in 2018

 
Find out how the market will look this year


**This article is regularly updated. Please scroll to the top for the most recent information**

Top Performing Life Science ETFs

By Bryan Mc Govern, Published March 9, 2017

An exchange traded fund (ETF) tracks multiple companies in the market under one umbrella and in the life science sector, it can find and expose niche companies to potential investors looking to diversify their portfolio. 

The advantage of owning an ETF means investors “get the diversification of an index fund,” and can sell short, buy on margin and be able to purchase just one share.

INN took a look at the following top performing ETFs, year-to-date, in the life science sector on ETF Database.

Biotech Stocks in 2018

 
Find out how the market will look this year

SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSEARCA:XBI)

This ETF was created in 2006, it tracks common stocks with biotech and small numbers on pharma. Some of its top fund holdings include Clovis Oncology (NASDAQ:CLVS) Kite Pharma (NASDAQ:KITE) and ACADIA Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACAD). XBI has 86 holdings total.

Its index dividend yield is 0.21 percent and their weighted average market cap is $16,063.68. Since its inception, this fund has had a 16.15 percent return before taxes.

First Trust NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index Fund (NYSEARCA:FBT)

FBT was created in 2006, it currently has 30 holdings. As of February 28, its median market cap totals $6,606, while its closing share price was of $103.71.

Their top fund holdings are Kite Pharma (NASDAQ:KITE) and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) and Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:RARE). This fund has made a 15.60 percent return for its net asset value since its inception.

iShares U.S. Medical Devices ETF (NYSEARCA:IHI)

This fund targets companies engaged in medical devices, IHI was created in 2006 and currently maintains 52 holdings. Its top fund holdings are Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT) Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) and Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO).

Its distribution yield is 0.49 percent and its weighted average market cap totals $40.37 billion. The fund’s net assets of share are $950,878,961. Since its inception in 2006 IHI has made a 10.14 percent return for its net asset value.

iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ:IBB)

This fund concentrates in companies using biomedical research for new treatments or cures for human disease. Its top fund holdings are Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) and Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB)

IBB has 165 holdings and its weighted average market cap is of $39.28 billion. Its distribution yield is 0.17 percent. The fund’s net assets of share are $7,660,296,766. Since its inception in 2001 IBB has made a 6.47 percent return for its net asset value.

Vanguard Health Care ETF (NYSEARCA:VHT)

VHT currently keeps 359 holdings, including and top among them Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK)

This is a broad fund with health care firms from multiple varied industries in the market. Their weighted average market cap totals $94.79 billion while their distribution yield is 1.33 percent. Since its inception, VHT has made a return of 8.83 percent.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Biotech Stocks in 2018

 
Find out how the market will look this year

Get the latest Biotech Investing stock information

Get the latest information about companies associated with Biotech Investing Delivered directly to your inbox.

Biotech Investing

Select All
Select None

By selecting company or companies above, you are giving consent to receive email from those companies. And remember you can unsubscribe at any time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *