3 Top Canadian Healthcare Stocks for February 2024 and Beyond

Posted on February 17, 2024 by Dan Kent

As the population grows older in Canada and worldwide, Canadian healthcare companies will be relied upon to supply medications and products to Canadians and customers worldwide.

So, how can Canadian investors take advantage of an aging population, a rising population, new medicine, medical devices, and medical technology making our lives easier? Well, you can invest in the top Canadian healthcare stocks! Let's look at 3 of the best healthcare stocks in this article.

The top Canadian healthcare stocks to buy right now

Savaria (TSE:SIS)

TSX Healthcare Stocks - Savaria

By definition, Savaria Corporation (TSX:SIS) is an industrial stock. However, make no mistake; they are a healthcare play in a prime position to take advantage of an aging population. Most investors view healthcare stocks as primarily drug manufacturers

And while those stocks typically provide your best chance to hit a home run in terms of returns, arming your portfolio with different industries of the healthcare sector can be extremely useful.

Savaria provides just that. The company develops, markets, and manufactures products for those who have mobility issues.

Up until 2020, Savaria had been an underperformer. It was plagued with inconsistencies in terms of results and also frustrated shareholders with constant share dilution.

However, it has performed relatively strongly since the March, 2020 stock market lows, with particular strength over the last year. Including dividends, the stock is up approximately 20% over the last 52 weeks.

In early 2021, the company made a transformational acquisition of Handicare, a European company specializing in mobility products. Handicare is responsible for producing over 45,000 stairlifts annually, and the mega-merger will make Savaria a true global leader in mobility products.

Considering the average age here in Canada and globally is expected to rise considerably over the next 20-30 years, more and more consumers will need the exact products that Savaria offers.

The company recently reaffirmed its guidance, telling investors it expects to grow revenue at an 8-10% annual pace over the next few years thanks to the Handicare acquisition.

With inflation and the price of materials cooling, along with supply chain challenges subsiding, earnings will likely grow even faster than revenue.

After years of underperformance, Savaria could finally turn the page and is putting up some strong results. As a bonus to its growth, the company pays out a mid-3% monthly dividend.

Well Health Technologies (TSE:WELL)

Well Health Technologies (TSE:WELL) will undoubtedly appeal to you if you're looking for a company with explosive growth potential.

So what does Well Health do? The company owns the largest single-chain network of care clinics in British Columbia. They also provide hundreds of medical clinics with EMR (Emergency Medical Records) services.

This means thousands of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers benefit from WELL's products, but more importantly, over 15 million patients.

The company has 83 clinics here in Canada and in the United States. In terms of staffing, the company deploys over 2500 healthcare providers.

The company is primarily a digital health company, or telehealth as many like to call it. Instead of going to the doctor, patients can be diagnosed right from home. This type of medical care was amplified during COVID-19 shutdowns and caused Well Health's popularity to soar.

The company is backed by one of the wealthiest men on the planet, Sir Li Ka-Shing, who has been known to invest in other strong companies like Spotify and Facebook.

The company is very acquisition heavy and has completed some transformational acquisitions over the years, including CRH Medical in mid-2021.

Not only did the acquisition of CRH significantly boost Well Health's revenue, but it also gave them deep access to the U.S. healthcare system. The company also acquired CloudMD's (TSEV:DOC) EMR, billing, and clinic assets.

This is a very young company, capable of significant growth yet significant volatility. Revenue growth is skewed by acquisitions, expected to increase significantly over the next few years. However, the company is also profitable on an adjusted EBITDA basis.

There has been a significant reset in the valuations of telehealth and digital health companies. So if you're interested in owning Well Health, there has never been a better time.

Andlauer Healthcare Group (TSE:AND)

Andlauer Healthcare Group Inc (TSX:AND) is the leading provider of essential healthcare supply chain services.

It provides specialized solutions to meet the highly regulated requirements of the healthcare industry. The company is split into two divisions -- Specialized Transportation and Healthcare Logistics. 

Its Specialized Transportation segment provides specialized temperature-controlled services to healthcare customers.

The company's transportation products include ground transportation, air freight forwarding, and dedicated and last-mile delivery.

The Healthcare Logistics segment provides customer contract logistics services, including logistics, distribution, and packaging.

The company has a market cap of just under $2B at the time of writing. It is partnered up with 25 of the top global pharmaceutical manufacturers in Canada. It IPOed in 2019 and has witnessed strong growth over the last 10-12 years.

It has a compound annual growth on revenue of 11.5% since 2010 and is driving a large amount of growth through acquisitions. In 2021 it made two significant moves, acquiring Skelton and Boyle Transportation. Both companies operate transportation services to life sciences and government and defence sectors.

Most of the company's revenue comes from services like this. Around a quarter of revenue comes from inventory management and client fulfillment.

Since its IPO in 2019 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the company's stock price has more than doubled. Regarding pharmaceutical companies in Canada, it's one of the better performers. It does pay a dividend, but with a dividend yield of only 0.7%, it won't appeal to many income investors.

Analysts expect high, single-digit growth from this company moving forward.

Chartwell Retirement Residences (TSE:CSH.UN)

Chartwell

Chartwell Retirement Residences (TSX:CSH.UN) is a REIT that owns retirement residences in Canada, specifically in Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta. 

After divesting most of its long-term care homes in 2022, Chartwell's portfolio comprises 159 properties. Like many other senior care stocks, Chartwell suffered through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Occupancy plunged as many families chose to care for their loved ones at home. Then, as pandemic pressures faded in 2022, the company had to deal with higher interest rates, cutting into its bottom line. After all, interest is a major expense for any real estate company. 

It wasn't just Chartwell that suffered. Competitor Sienna Senior Living (TSX:SIA) also saw its share price decline substantially in 2022, with both stocks shedding more than 20% of their market value. 

But things are looking up for Chartwell. It recently posted encouraging occupancy results, with that all-important metric even flirting with pre-pandemic numbers. Investors are also hoping interest rates have peaked. And the company's move to divest its long-term care portfolio should help ease pressure on its balance sheet. 

Remember, Canada's population is projected to get older over time. Combine that with seniors flush with cash from massive real estate gains, and it bodes well for Chartwell. But remember, this is a long-term play. Investors should measure the outcome in years, not months.

Overall, this article should give you a nice roundup of top Canadian healthcare stocks

The primary benefit to this from an investing standpoint is that Canadian healthcare stocks will inevitably post higher revenues and, as current investors hope, more profits. New investors learning how to invest in stocks often flock to healthcare stocks, more than likely due to their potential to provide better-than-average returns.

According to the Government of Canada, in 2021, approximately 7 million Canadians were aged 65 or older. This represented approximately 19% of the total population, which is the highest share of the total population ever.

The population is expected to keep aging, too. According to population projections, in 2051 a whopping 24.9% of Canadians will be over the age of 65.

By then, projections say female life expectancy is expected to be 87 years!

While most of the options on this list are small to mid-cap players, we don't have any large-scale healthcare stocks here in Canada. If you want something like that, you'll have to head south of the border, where you'll find plenty.

But I wouldn't be shying away from looking at these four options because they're small in stature. All three are in explosive industries growth-wise and should be able to provide long-standing returns to investors in the future.

Rapid spending means good things for the top healthcare stocks

Healthcare expenditures make up a double-digit percentage of our GDP here in Canada. In 2019, healthcare spending hit a whopping $264B. In 2021 this number hit $308B. In 2022, it continued to grow, hitting $331B, or $8,563 per Canadian. This number is almost guaranteed to continue to grow over the long-term.

Although this revenue certainly isn't the total addressable market for the stocks on this list, there is no doubt they will benefit from an increase in spending and overall an increase in the older population here in Canada.

The pandemic also brought to light numerous deficiencies in our healthcare system, ones the government might look to alleviate as we move forward. When we think of the pandemic, we think of many U.S. healthcare companies like Pfizer and Moderna.

And while U.S. pharmaceuticals are often more mature dividend stocks, there is still plenty of potential here in Canada if you want exposure.

Disclaimer: The writer of this article or employees of Stocktrades Ltd may have positions in securities listed in this article. Stocktrades Ltd may also be compensated via affiliate links in this post. Stocktrades Ltd will run advertisements on our posts. These advertisements do not represent an endorsement by us.

Dan Kent

About the author

An active dividend and growth investor, Dan has been involved with the website since its inception. He is primarily a researcher and writer here at Stocktrades.ca, and his pieces have numerous mentions on the Globe and Mail, Forbes, Winnipeg Free Press, and other high authority financial websites. He has become an authority figure in the Canadian finance niche, primarily due to his attention to detail and overall dedication to achieving the highest returns on his investments. Investing on his own since he was 19 years old, Dan has compiled the experience and knowledge needed to be successful in the world of self-directed investing, and is always happy to bring that knowledge to Stocktrades.ca readers and any other publications that give him the opportunity to write. He has completed the Canadian Securities Course, manages his TFSA, RRSPs and a LIRA at Qtrade, and has compiled a real estate portfolio of his primary residence and 2 rental properties, all before his 30th birthday.