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Health Management Associates Inc. (HMA): Today's Featured Health Services Winner

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.

Health Management Associates ( HMA) pushed the Health Services industry higher today making it today's featured health services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Health Management Associates rose 15 cents (1.3%) to $11.31 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2.7 million shares of Health Management Associates exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $11.13-$11.40 after having opened the day at $11.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $11.16. Other companies within the Health Services industry that increased today were: IsoRay ( ISR), up 11.8%, Sunshine Heart ( SSH), up 9.7%, Capital Senior Living Corporation ( CSU), up 8.4%, and Edap TMS ( EDAP), up 7.9%.

  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Health Management Associates, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the operation of general acute care hospitals and other health care facilities in non-urban communities in the United States. Health Management Associates has a market cap of $2.88 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate Health Management Associates a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Health Management Associates as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, revenue growth, growth in earnings per share and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front, Oculus Innovative ( OCLS), down 20.4%, Escalon Medical Corporation ( ESMC), down 11.4%, Hooper Holmes ( HH), down 8.1%, and U.S. Physical Therapy ( USPH), down 6.9%, were all laggards within the health services industry with DaVita HealthCare Partners ( DVA) being today's health services industry laggard.

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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