Quest Diagnostics Inc (DGX): Today's Featured Health Services Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Quest Diagnostics ( DGX) pushed the Health Services industry higher today making it today's featured health services winner. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Quest Diagnostics rose 78 cents (1.3%) to $60.80 on light volume. Throughout the day, 728,360 shares of Quest Diagnostics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $59.93-$61.24 after having opened the day at $59.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.02. Other companies within the Health Services industry that increased today were: Coventry Health Care ( CVH), up 20.3%, Nanosphere ( NSPH), up 7.8%, Pro-Dex ( PDEX), up 6.6%, and Unilife Corporation ( UNIS), up 6.6%.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing, information, and services in the United States and internationally. Quest Diagnostics has a market cap of $9.55 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.8, 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 2.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is one analyst that rates Quest Diagnostics a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Quest Diagnostics as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. 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 negative front, Retractable Technologies ( RVP), down 10.3%, BG Medicine ( BGMD), down 10%, Dehaier Medical Systems ( DHRM), down 8.1%, and Graymark Healthcare ( GRMH), down 8%, were all laggards within the health services industry with Express Scripts ( ESRX) 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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