Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX): Today's Featured Health Care Laggard

Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.4%. By the end of trading, Vertex Pharmaceuticals fell $1.50 (-2.9%) to $49.77 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1.6 million shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $49.22-$50.67 after having opened the day at $50.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.27. Other company's within the Health Care sector that declined today were: InterMune ( ITMN), down 15.4%, PetMed Express ( PETS), down 14.4%, TrovaGene ( TROV), down 13.8%, and Supernus Pharmaceuticals ( SUPN), down 12%.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated engages in discovering, developing, manufacturing, and commercializing small molecule drugs for the treatment of serious diseases worldwide. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $11 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 35.9, below the average drugs industry P/E ratio of 38 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 54.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Vertex Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vertex Pharmaceuticals 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

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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