The total market cap of small cap ASX medtechs grew 57pc in the past year
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
High performers in the medtech industry are beginning to catch the eyes of investors as the sector begins to turn potential into real growth.
The ASX’s medtech companies are up 21 per cent as a group year-on-year, with a select few micro and small caps that would have delivered any investors holding the stock significant returns; some have graduated to become mid cap and large cap businesses.
And that is due to growing evidence that the health industry is taking Australian medtech innovation seriously, according to Morgans senior health analyst Scott Power.
This is borne out by the data — there has been a 16 per cent year-on-year growth in the total market cap of listed medtechs, to $18.4 billion.
Remove the outlying Australian medtech icon Cochlear (ASX:COH) — which has seen a 1pc dip in value in the past 12 months — and that figure rises to 57 per cent yearly market cap growth (to $7.3b), meaning the majority of the growth has come from smaller companies.
“Our healthcare team here is focusing in on SaaS as a theme and its application into the healthcare and medical spaces,” Power tells Stockhead.
“Companies are putting this technology to good use and what we are seeing as a result of that is more customers adopting software, and then those companies showing revenue and profit growth.”
He says medtech companies can broadly be divided into two categories; diagnostics and administration. The former comes up with devices aimed at diagnosing or helping clinicians diagnoses diseases and the latter makes software which help out hospitals and clinics on a range of administration tasks.
Avita Medical (ASX:AVH), which makes spray-on skin cell therapy, has been the biggest winner in the past year with a 621 per cent return for investors; shares were fetching 37.5c a pop on Monday. Winning US regulatory approval for its devices was the key to that growth.
Resonance Health (ASX:RHT) is next best with a 381 per cent return. The company made a pivot towards machine learning earlier this year and also received US approval for its Ferrismart device.
“That is reflective of a theme for a number of health companies, we’re seeing quite a bit of deep learning and artificial intelligence coming into the narrative,” Scott says.
“I don’t like using the word disruptive but these technologies are interesting and attracting attention for their ability to make things more efficient for the health industry.”
He points to Volpara Health Technologies (ASX:VHT) and Alcidion (ASX:ALC) as prime examples of companies that are beginning to turn promise into real, sustainable growth.
Volpara’s shares have risen 158 per cent in the past year and Alcidion’s 133 per cent. Volpara’s technology, which involves machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve breast cancer diagnostics, got a leg-up from the FDA back in March, while Alcidion has been making significant gains with its clinic support software in the UK.
Volpara told the market a month ago that it would exceed guidance on annual recurring revenue for the 2019 financial year, while Alcidion saw its revenue jump by 479 per cent at the half-year.
“Customers are becoming more aware and investors are becoming more aware and that has been thanks to regulatory tailwinds having an impact and many of these companies showing quarter-on-quarter growth,” Scott says.