Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG): Today's Featured Health Services Laggard

Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.7%. By the end of trading, Intuitive Surgical fell $5.15 (-0.9%) to $544.21 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 417,210 shares of Intuitive Surgical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 275,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $540.01-$553.58 after having opened the day at $553 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $549.36. Other company's within the Health Services industry that declined today were: D Medical Industries ( DMED), down 19.1%, Graymark Healthcare ( GRMH), down 17.5%, Helix BioPharma ( HBP), down 7.6%, and Urologix ( ULGX), down 7.5%.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems for various surgical procedures, including urologic, gynecologic, cardiothoracic, general, and head and neck surgeries. Intuitive Surgical has a market cap of $21.6 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 41.1, 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 18.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are five analysts that rate Intuitive Surgical a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Intuitive Surgical 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

On the positive front, Magellan Health Services ( MGLN), up 12.4%, Nanosphere ( NSPH), up 9.2%, NeuroMetrix ( NUROD), up 6%, and CAS Medical Systems ( CASM), up 5%, were all gainers within the health services industry with Becton Dickinson ( BDX) being today's featured health services industry leader.

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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