Baxter International Inc. (BAX): Today's Featured Health Services Loser

Baxter International ( BAX) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services loser. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.9%. By the end of trading, Baxter International fell 46 cents (-0.9%) to $49.30 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.5 million shares of Baxter International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $49.19-$50.06 after having opened the day at $49.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.76. Other company's within the Health Services industry that declined today were: China Medical Technologies ( CMED), down 13%, Enzo Biochem ( ENZ), down 11.8%, Arrhythmia Research Technology ( HRT), down 9.9%, and Strategic Diagnostics ( SDIX), down 8.2%.

Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets products for people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. Baxter International has a market cap of $28.4 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.3, 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 0.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Baxter International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Baxter International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Synovis Life Technologies ( SYNO), up 50.6%, Tengion ( TNGN), up 20.6%, CHINA NUOKANG BIO-PHARMACEUTICAL ( NKBP), up 11.2%, and Dynacq Healthcare ( DYII), up 11%, were all gainers within the health services industry with Cigna ( CI) being today's featured health services industry winner.

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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