Shire PLC (SHPGY): Today's Featured Health Care Winner

Shire ( SHPGY) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Shire rose $2.13 (2.2%) to $98.32 on light volume. Throughout the day, 384,518 shares of Shire exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 570,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $97.36-$99.02 after having opened the day at $97.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $96.19. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: Arena Pharmaceuticals ( ARNA), up 72.7%, Advocat ( AVCA), up 57.1%, ProPhase Labs ( PRPH), up 53.4%, and Repros Therapeutics ( RPRX), up 41.8%.

Shire plc, a specialty biopharmaceutical company, engages in the research and development, manufacture, sale, and distribution of pharmaceutical products. It operates in three segments: Specialty Pharmaceuticals, Human Genetic Therapies, and Regenerative Medicine. Shire has a market cap of $18.04 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.6, below the average drugs industry P/E ratio of 21.3 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Shire a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Shire as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front, Alere ( ALR), down 14.7%, Aoxing Pharmaceutical Company ( AXN), down 11.9%, OraSure Technologies ( OSUR), down 11.8%, and American Caresource Holdings ( ANCI), down 10.5%, were all losers within the health care sector with DaVita ( DVA) 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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