WellCare Health Plans Inc. (WCG): 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.

WellCare Health Plans ( WCG) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, WellCare Health Plans fell $1.07 (-1.9%) to $55.49 on average volume. Throughout the day, 881,051 shares of WellCare Health Plans exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $54.68-$56.34 after having opened the day at $56.24 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.56. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: Neuralstem ( CUR), down 16.3%, Kips Bay Medical ( KIPS), down 12.7%, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals ( PPHM), down 10.8%, and Dynatronics Corporation ( DYNT), down 8.6%.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. provides managed care services for government-sponsored health care programs in the United States. WellCare Health Plans has a market cap of $2.48 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.1, below the average health services industry P/E ratio of 9.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are five analysts that rate WellCare Health Plans a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates WellCare Health Plans as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Ampio Pharmaceuticals ( AMPE), up 20.7%, Medgenics ( MDGN), up 19.5%, Cardium Therapeutics ( CXM), up 17.9%, and Anthera Pharmaceuticals ( ANTH), up 14.7%, were all gainers within the health care sector with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company ( BMY) 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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