Centene Corporation (CNC): Today's Featured Health Care 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.

Centene Corporation ( CNC) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Centene Corporation rose 68 cents (1.7%) to $40.70 on light volume. Throughout the day, 538,552 shares of Centene Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $39.81-$40.78 after having opened the day at $40.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.02. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: Sarepta Therapeutics ( SRPT), up 13.8%, Opexa Therapeutics ( OPXA), up 12.9%, Cell Therapeutics ( CTIC), up 11.3%, and Zalicus ( ZLCS), up 9.5%.

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 services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 44.4, 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 1.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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 negative front, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals ( PPHM), down 15%, Cormedix ( CRMD), down 10%, Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals ( CYCC), down 9.5%, and Tesaro ( TSRO), down 8.7%, were all laggards within the health care sector with Salix Pharmaceuticals ( SLXP) being today's health care sector laggard.

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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