Biogen Idec Inc (BIIB): Today's Featured Health Care Laggard

Biogen Idec ( BIIB) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.9%. By the end of trading, Biogen Idec fell $1.13 (-0.8%) to $145.05 on light volume. Throughout the day, 674,771 shares of Biogen Idec exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $144.83-$147.57 after having opened the day at $146.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $146.18. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: pSivida ( PSDV), down 18.7%, NxStage Medical Incorporated ( NXTM), down 17.8%, Tornier B.V ( TRNX), down 17.7%, and Biosante Pharmaceuticals ( BPAX), down 16%.

Biogen Idec Inc. discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hemophilia, and autoimmune disorders in the United States and internationally. Biogen Idec has a market cap of $34.38 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.4, equal to the average drugs industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 32.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Biogen Idec a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Biogen Idec 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, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and solid stock price performance. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the positive front, Savient Pharmaceuticals ( SVNT), up 24.1%, GenMark Diagnostics ( GNMK), up 23%, Select Medical Holdings Corporation ( SEM), up 16%, and Amedisys ( AMED), up 9.6%, were all gainers within the health care sector with Aetna ( AET) being today's featured health care sector leader.

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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