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Pfizer Inc (PFE): Today's Featured Drugs 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.

Pfizer (PFE) pushed the Drugs industry lower today making it today's featured Drugs laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Pfizer fell 45 cents (-1.9%) to $23.80 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 58.6 million shares of Pfizer exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 30.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $23.63-$24.18 after having opened the day at $24.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.25. Other companies within the Drugs industry that declined today were: Neuralstem (CUR), down 19.6%, AEterna Zentaris (AEZS), down 8.6%, ProPhase Labs (PRPH), down 7.8%, and Bacterin International Holdings (BONE), down 7.5%.

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Pfizer Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of medicines for people and animals worldwide. Pfizer has a market cap of $179.79 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.4, above the average drugs industry P/E ratio of 17.8 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Pfizer a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Pfizer as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, DARA Biosciences (DARA), up 25.3%, Savient Pharmaceuticals (SVNT), up 16.5%, CEL-SCI Corporation (CVM), up 11.5%, and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (TKMR), up 11.3%, were all gainers within the drugs industry with Celgene Corporation (CELG) being today's featured drugs industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the drugs industry could consider SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF (XPH) while those bearish on the drugs industry could consider ProShares UltraShort Nasdaq Biotech (BIS).

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