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Should You Invest in the VanEck Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH)?

The VanEck Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH) was launched on 12/20/2011, and is a passively managed exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the Healthcare - Pharma segment of the equity market.

An increasingly popular option among retail and institutional investors, passively managed ETFs offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; they are also excellent vehicles for long term investors.

Additionally, sector ETFs offer convenient ways to gain low risk and diversified exposure to a broad group of companies in particular sectors. Healthcare - Pharma is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 5, placing it in top 31%.

Index Details

The fund is sponsored by Van Eck. It has amassed assets over $585.99 million, making it one of the larger ETFs attempting to match the performance of the Healthcare - Pharma segment of the equity market. PPH seeks to match the performance of the MVIS US Listed Pharmaceutical 25 Index before fees and expenses.

The MVIS US Listed Pharmaceutical 25 Index tracks the overall performance of companies involved in pharmaceuticals, including pharmaceutical research and development as well a production, marketing and sales of pharmaceuticals.

Costs

Expense ratios are an important factor in the return of an ETF and in the long term, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts, other things remaining the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.35%, making it one of the least expensive products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 1.70%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

ETFs offer a diversified exposure and thus minimize single stock risk but it is still important to delve into a fund's holdings before investing. Most ETFs are very transparent products and many disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Looking at individual holdings, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY) accounts for about 5.26% of total assets, followed by Merck & Co Inc (MRK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

The top 10 holdings account for about 50.61% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has added about 0.69% so far this year and is up about 3.42% in the last one year (as of 08/15/2022). In that past 52-week period, it has traded between $71.36 and $83.96.

The ETF has a beta of 0.74 and standard deviation of 20.60% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 26 holdings, it has more concentrated exposure than peers.

Alternatives

VanEck Pharmaceutical ETF holds a Zacks ETF Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Because of this, PPH is an outstanding option for investors seeking exposure to the Health Care ETFs segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.

Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF (PJP) tracks Dynamic Pharmaceutical Intellidex Index and the iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF (IHE) tracks Dow Jones U.S. Select Pharmaceuticals Index. Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF has $341.47 million in assets, iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF has $447.77 million. PJP has an expense ratio of 0.58% and IHE charges 0.42%.

Bottom Line

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.


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VanEck Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH): ETF Research Reports
 
Bristol Myers Squibb Company (BMY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF (PJP): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF (IHE): ETF Research Reports
 
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