Centene Corporation (CNC): Today's Featured Health Services Laggard

Centene Corporation ( CNC) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, Centene Corporation fell 44 cents (-1.1%) to $39.09 on light volume. Throughout the day, 471,590 shares of Centene Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $38.95-$40.09 after having opened the day at $39.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.53. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: Response Genetics ( RGDX), down 19.4%, Escalon Medical Corporation ( ESMC), down 17.4%, Tengion ( TNGN), down 15.2%, and Dehaier Medical Systems ( DHRM), down 9.2%.

Centene Corporation operates as a multiline healthcare company in the United States. It operates through two segments, Medicaid Managed Care and Specialty Services. Centene Corporation has a market cap of $2.06 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 43.7, below the average health services industry P/E ratio of 44.9 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate Centene Corporation a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Centene Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, ERBA Diagnostics ( ERB), up 27.9%, Dynatronics Corporation ( DYNT), up 9.4%, Kips Bay Medical ( KIPS), up 8%, and Pro-Dex ( PDEX), up 7.2%, were all gainers within the health services industry with DaVita ( DVA) 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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