Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX): 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.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Vertex Pharmaceuticals fell 59 cents (-1%) to $56.05 on light volume. Throughout the day, 826,843 shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $55.66-$56.64 after having opened the day at $56.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.64. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: Navidea Biopharmaceuticals ( NAVB), down 24.8%, Complete Genomics ( GNOM), down 11.5%, Cytori Therapeutics ( CYTX), down 8.3%, and Peregrine Pharmaceuticals ( PPHM), down 8.3%.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated engages in discovering, developing, manufacturing, and commercializing small molecule drugs for the treatment of serious diseases worldwide. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $12.32 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.8, below the average drugs industry P/E ratio of 29.9 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 71.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Vertex Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vertex Pharmaceuticals as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

On the positive front, Cell Therapeutics ( CTIC), up 38.5%, Sunesis Pharmaceuticals ( SNSS), up 32.2%, AspenBio Pharma ( APPY), up 28%, and Hansen Medical ( HNSN), up 14.9%, were all gainers within the health care sector with Ariad Pharmaceuticals ( ARIA) 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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