C.R. Bard Inc. (BCR): Today's Featured Health Care Laggard

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.

C.R. Bard ( BCR) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, C.R. Bard fell $1 (-1%) to $97.41 on light volume. Throughout the day, 426,963 shares of C.R. Bard exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 592,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $97.26-$98.42 after having opened the day at $98.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $98.41. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: Peregrine Pharmaceuticals ( PPHM), down 16.9%, Escalon Medical Corporation ( ESMC), down 9.3%, BioMimetic Therapeutics ( BMTI), down 9.1%, and Idera Pharmaceuticals ( IDRA), down 7.9%.

C. R. Bard, Inc. and its subsidiaries design, manufacture, package, distribute, and sell medical, surgical, diagnostic, and patient care devices worldwide. C.R. Bard has a market cap of $8.21 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.6, 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 15.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are two analysts that rate C.R. Bard a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates C.R. Bard as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Sunrise Senior Living ( SRZ), up 59.7%, Telik ( TELK), up 15%, Brookdale Senior Living ( BKD), up 10.9%, and Assisted Living Concepts ( ALC), up 9.6%, were all gainers within the health care sector with WellPoint ( WLP) 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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