Laboratory Corporation Of America Holdings (LH): Today's Featured Health Care Winner

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings ( LH) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.8%. By the end of trading, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings rose $2.67 (3%) to $92.04 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2.4 million shares of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 768,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $88.64-$92.50 after having opened the day at $89.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $89.37. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: Foundation SunLink Healthcare Affiliates In ( SSY), up 24.2%, Synergetics USA ( SURG), up 22.7%, Orexigen Therapeutics ( OREX), up 19.9%, and Chelsea Therapeutics International ( CHTP), up 12.1%.

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings operates as an independent clinical laboratory company in the United States. The company offers a range of testing services used by the medical profession in routine testing, patient diagnosis, and in the monitoring and treatment of diseases. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings has a market cap of $8.63 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.2, 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 3.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Anthera Pharmaceuticals ( ANTH), down 70.7%, Synta Pharmaceuticals ( SNTA), down 33.5%, D Medical Industries ( DMED), down 23.7%, and NeurogesX ( NGSX), down 22.2%, were all losers within the health care sector with Allergan ( AGN) 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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