Similarly, Worldwide Healthcare itself looks cheap on a 4.3pc discount; it has typically traded at a premium over the past five years. Although performance has disappointed in recent times, its long-term record remains intact: shareholders have benefited from a 332pc share price gain over the past decade – and we see no reason why this can’t be repeated.
“We are past the worst, there is no question about that,” says Hewitt.
As interest rates rise in response to higher inflation and as the war in Ukraine causes geopolitical risk to come to the fore, there is an increased likelihood of slowing economic growth or even recession later this year or next year. If this turns out to be the case, healthcare stocks should prove resilient thanks to their “secular growth” characteristics; there will be continued demand for their products regardless of what happens to interest rates or economic growth.
“If the going gets tougher for the economy and markets the rest of this year, Worldwide Healthcare is the sort of trust that will prosper,” Hewitt adds.
This column agrees. There is an attractive buying opportunity here for an investor with a healthy risk appetite and a long-term horizon, although you should be prepared for further bumps along the way.
Questor says: buy
Share price at close: £33.15
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