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Is Novartis (NVS) Stock Outpacing Its Medical Peers This Year?

The Medical group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. Has Novartis (NVS) been one of those stocks this year? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Medical sector should help us answer this question.

Novartis is a member of our Medical group, which includes 1144 different companies and currently sits at #8 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different groups, measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the sector to gauge the strength of each group.

The Zacks Rank is a successful stock-picking model that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions. The system highlights a number of different stocks that could be poised to outperform the broader market over the next one to three months. Novartis is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Over the past 90 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for NVS' full-year earnings has moved 1.9% higher. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company's earnings outlook is stronger.

Based on the latest available data, NVS has gained about 15.4% so far this year. At the same time, Medical stocks have lost an average of 0.5%. This means that Novartis is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.

One other Medical stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year is Akebia Therapeutics (AKBA). The stock is up 82% year-to-date.

For Akebia Therapeutics, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 1.2% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Looking more specifically, Novartis belongs to the Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry, a group that includes 12 individual stocks and currently sits at #65 in the Zacks Industry Rank. This group has gained an average of 4.2% so far this year, so NVS is performing better in this area.

In contrast, Akebia Therapeutics falls under the Medical - Drugs industry. Currently, this industry has 208 stocks and is ranked #113. Since the beginning of the year, the industry has moved +1.6%.

Going forward, investors interested in Medical stocks should continue to pay close attention to Novartis and Akebia Therapeutics as they could maintain their solid performance.

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