Aetna Inc (AET): Today's Featured Health Services Winner

Aetna ( AET) 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, Aetna rose 34 cents (0.9%) to $39 on light volume. Throughout the day, three million shares of Aetna exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $38.30-$39.23 after having opened the day at $38.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.66. Other companies within the Health Services industry that increased today were: Kips Bay Medical ( KIPS), up 13.9%, Novadaq Technologies ( NVDQ), up 8.8%, Strategic Diagnostics ( SDIX), up 6.6%, and Synergetics USA ( SURG), up 6.3%.

Aetna Inc. operates as a diversified health care benefits company in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance, and Large Case Pensions. Aetna has a market cap of $13.26 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.4, equal to the average health services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 9.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Aetna a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

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

On the negative front, Misonix ( MSON), down 10%, Retractable Technologies ( RVP), down 8.6%, Dehaier Medical Systems ( DHRM), down 8%, and Digirad Corporation ( DRAD), down 6.8%, were all losers within the health services industry with St Jude Medical ( STJ) 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).
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