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Laboratory Corporation Of America Holdings (LH): Today's Featured Health Services Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings ( LH) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings fell 89 cents (-1%) to $87.43 on light volume. Throughout the day, 450,916 shares of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 906,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $87.43-$88.12 after having opened the day at $87.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $88.32. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: Edap TMS ( EDAP), down 10%, Bio-Reference Labs ( BRLI), down 9.6%, Tengion ( TNGN), down 9.1%, and Nanosphere ( NSPH), down 8.8%.

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings operates as an independent clinical laboratory company in the United States. The company offers a range of testing services used by the medical profession in routine testing, patient diagnosis, and in the monitoring and treatment of diseases. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings has a market cap of $8.47 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.1, equal to the average health services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are four analysts that rate Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the positive front, LCA-Vision ( LCAV), up 8.1%, Alliance HealthCare Services ( AIQ), up 6.3%, Spherix ( SPEX), up 5.9%, and Urologix ( ULGX), up 5.3%, were all gainers within the health services industry with Cigna ( CI) being today's featured health services industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the health services industry could consider Health Care Select Sector SPDR ( XLV) while those bearish on the health services industry could consider ProShares Ultra Short Health Care ( RXD).

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