WellPoint Inc (WLP): Today's Featured Health Care Winner

WellPoint ( WLP) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, WellPoint rose $1.62 (3%) to $56.26 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.9 million shares of WellPoint exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $54.67-$56.34 after having opened the day at $54.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.64. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: Halozyme Therapeutics ( HALO), up 25.7%, Alliance HealthCare Services ( AIQ), up 22.7%, Theratechnologies ( THER), up 13.6%, and Zalicus ( ZLCS), up 11.6%.

WellPoint, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a health benefits company in the United States. The company offers various network-based managed care plans to large and small employer, individual, Medicaid, and senior markets. WellPoint has a market cap of $17.9 billion and is part of the health services industry. 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 16.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate WellPoint a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates WellPoint as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Assisted Living Concepts ( ALC), down 26.7%, China Pharma ( CPHI), down 17.5%, NeuroMetrix ( NUROD), down 12.5%, and Synergetics USA ( SURG), down 11.5%, were all laggards within the health care sector with Abbott Laboratories ( ABT) being today's health care sector laggard.

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).