Baxter International Inc. (BAX): Today's Featured Health Services Winner

Baxter International ( BAX) pushed the Health Services industry higher today making it today's featured health services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Baxter International rose 54 cents (0.9%) to $59.05 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1.9 million shares of Baxter International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $58.59-$59.27 after having opened the day at $58.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.51. Other companies within the Health Services industry that increased today were: Misonix ( MSON), up 21%, BSD Medical Corporation ( BSDM), up 12.7%, Select Medical Holdings Corporation ( SEM), up 7.5%, and Atrion Corporation ( ATRI), up 6.8%.

Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets products for people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. Baxter International has a market cap of $32.81 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.9, above the average health services industry P/E ratio of 14.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 18.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Baxter International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Baxter International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations 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, Dehaier Medical Systems ( DHRM), down 10.3%, Retractable Technologies ( RVP), down 10.2%, Navidea Biopharmaceuticals ( NAVB), down 8.1%, and Antares Pharma ( ATRS), down 7.3%, were all laggards within the health services industry with Becton Dickinson ( BDX) being today's health services industry laggard.

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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