C.R. Bard Inc. (BCR): Today's Featured Health Services Winner

C.R. Bard ( BCR) pushed the Health Services industry higher today making it today's featured health services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, C.R. Bard rose 87 cents (0.9%) to $98.55 on average volume. Throughout the day, 609,231 shares of C.R. Bard exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 563,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $98.27-$98.93 after having opened the day at $98.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $97.68. Other companies within the Health Services industry that increased today were: Dynacq Healthcare ( DYII), up 124.4%, D Medical Industries ( DMED), up 28.6%, LCA-Vision ( LCAV), up 11.9%, and Cantel Medical Corporation ( CMN), up 10.9%.

C. R. Bard, Inc. and its subsidiaries design, manufacture, package, distribute, and sell medical, surgical, diagnostic, and patient care devices worldwide. C.R. Bard has a market cap of $8.09 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.4, equal to the average health services industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are three analysts that rate C.R. Bard a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates C.R. Bard as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share 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 negative front, Molina Healthcare ( MOH), down 31%, Graymark Healthcare ( GRMH), down 12.2%, Centene Corporation ( CNC), down 12%, and American Caresource Holdings ( ANCI), down 9.3%, were all losers within the health services industry with HCA Holdings ( HCA) being today's health services industry loser.

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).