Becton Dickinson & Co (BDX): Today's Featured Health Services Loser

Becton Dickinson ( BDX) 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, Becton Dickinson fell 96 cents (-1.2%) to $77.49 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.2 million shares of Becton Dickinson exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $77-$78.35 after having opened the day at $78.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $78.45. Other company's within the Health Services industry that declined today were: BG Medicine ( BGMD), down 16.9%, Graymark Healthcare ( GRMH), down 14.2%, Retractable Technologies ( RVP), down 8.7%, and IVAX Diagnostics ( IVD), down 7%.

Becton, Dickinson and Company, a medical technology company, develops, manufactures, and sells medical devices, instrument systems, and reagents worldwide. The company's BD Medical segment produces medical devices that are used in various healthcare settings. Becton Dickinson has a market cap of $16.38 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.4, above the average health services industry P/E ratio of 14.2 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Becton Dickinson a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Becton Dickinson as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, NuVasive ( NUVA), up 23.1%, Universal American ( UAM), up 14.1%, Alliance HealthCare Services ( AIQ), up 8.8%, and World Heart Corporation ( WHRT), up 7.7%, were all gainers within the health services industry with Covidien ( COV) 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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