Medtronic Inc. (MDT): Today's Featured Health Care Winner

Medtronic ( MDT) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 2.2%. By the end of trading, Medtronic rose 66 cents (1.9%) to $35.92 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4.6 million shares of Medtronic exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $35.26-$36.10 after having opened the day at $35.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.26. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: Siga Technologies ( SIGA), up 32.1%, Alexza Pharmaceuticals ( ALXA), up 20.2%, Cooper Companies ( COO), up 16.6%, and PharmAthene ( PIP), up 15.7%.

Medtronic, Inc. manufactures and sells device-based medical therapies worldwide. Medtronic has a market cap of $38.43 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.5, equal to the average health services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Medtronic a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 16 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Medtronic 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, increase in net income, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front, Pharmacyclics Incorporated ( PCYC), down 15.3%, Cell Therapeutics ( CTIC), down 14.5%, CHINA NUOKANG BIO-PHARMACEUTICAL ( NKBP), down 11.9%, and World Heart Corporation ( WHRT), down 8.8%, were all losers within the health care sector with Waters Corporation ( WAT) being today's health care sector loser.

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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