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Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK), Novo Nordisk A/S (ADR) (NVO): Who Should You Buy?

The company raised its 2013 forecast for sales growth, excluding currency shifts, to 11%. As mentioned in previous postsNovo Nordisk A/S (ADR) (NYSE:NVO) is very cheap, still growing, and performing very well. Although there are a few drops, this stock has risen steadily over the past five years, as the chart below clearly shows.

NVO data by YCharts

One of the major test-strip manufacturers is Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), which spun off AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) in January of this year. This spin off virtually cut the company in half, leaving the test-strip manufacturing to Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT).

In its first quarter earnings report, worldwide sales increased 3.5%, driven largely by its sales in diagnostics, nutrition, and international growth, all of which increased 6.4%, 9.0%, and 14.8%, respectively. Diabetes care provided $316 million in revenue to the company, which is roughly 5.9% of the company’s total sales in the first quarter.

Medical devices account for 24.7% of Abbott’s overall sales, 23.8% of which is derived from diabetic care. The first quarter adjusted earnings per share (EPS) were $0.42, at the high end of the previous guidance. On Feb. 15, Abbott announced its 357th quarterly dividend, an amount of $0.14 per share. The chart below shows how the company has performed since its spin off earlier this year.

ABT data by YCharts

The foolish bottom line

As in previous posts, I will stick to my guns that diabetes should be a good investment. Obviously, you can’t invest in a disease, but we can invest in the companies most heavily involved with the disease. That is Novo Nordisk’s specialty. Although any of these companies would probably be a good investment choice, Novo Nordisk stands apart in my eyes.

The article The Ups and Downs of Diabetes originally appeared on and is written by Tyler Wofford.

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