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Covidien PLC (COV): Today's Featured Health Care Winner

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Covidien ( COV) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.3%. By the end of trading, Covidien rose $1.17 (1.7%) to $68.22 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3,501,120 shares of Covidien exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,143,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $67.20-$68.64 after having opened the day at $67.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.05. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: Echo Therapeutics ( ECTE), up 72.9%, Zalicus ( ZLCS), up 29.8%, Alimera ( ALIM), up 19.1% and Veracyte ( VCYT), up 13.2%.

Covidien plc develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings worldwide. Covidien has a market cap of $30.3 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Covidien a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Covidien as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Mast Therapeutics ( MSTX), down 39.9%, Prima Biomed ( PBMD), down 16.0%, Genvec ( GNVC), down 9.5% and Ariad Pharmaceuticals ( ARIA), down 8.8% , were all laggards within the health care sector with Cubist Pharmaceuticals ( CBST) being today's health care sector laggard.

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

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