WellPoint Inc (WLP): Today's Featured Health Services Loser

WellPoint ( WLP) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services loser. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, WellPoint fell $1.05 (-1.5%) to $69.35 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.3 million shares of WellPoint exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $67.46-$69.50 after having opened the day at $68.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $70.40. Other company's within the Health Services industry that declined today were: Graymark Healthcare ( GRMH), down 12.5%, IsoRay ( ISR), down 9.8%, Varian Medical Systems ( VAR), down 8.9%, and Aetna ( AET), down 8.2%.

WellPoint, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a health benefits company in the United States. The company offers various network-based managed care plans to large and small employer, individual, Medicaid, and senior markets. WellPoint has a market cap of $23.53 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.8, equal to the average health services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate WellPoint a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates WellPoint as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Heartware International ( HTWR), up 11.9%, Echo Therapeutics ( ECTE), up 10.1%, SRI Surgical Express ( STRC), up 10%, and Edap TMS ( EDAP), up 9.6%, were all gainers within the health services industry with Stryker Corporation ( SYK) 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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