Becton Dickinson & Co (BDX): Today's Featured Health Services Laggard

Becton Dickinson ( BDX) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Becton Dickinson fell 84 cents (-1.1%) to $74.87 on average volume. Throughout the day, 824,585 shares of Becton Dickinson exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of one million shares. The stock ranged in price between $74.33-$75.02 after having opened the day at $74.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $75.71. Other company's within the Health Services industry that declined today were: 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%.

Becton, Dickinson and Company, a medical technology company, develops, manufactures, and sells medical devices, instrument systems, and reagents worldwide. The company's BD Medical segment produces medical devices that are used in various healthcare settings. Becton Dickinson has a market cap of $15.45 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14, 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 2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Becton Dickinson a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

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

On the positive front, 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%, were all gainers within the health services industry with Baxter International ( BAX) 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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