Health Net Inc (HNT): 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.

Health Net ( HNT) pushed the Health Services industry higher today making it today's featured health services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Health Net rose 25 cents (1.1%) to $22.25 on light volume. Throughout the day, 789,936 shares of Health Net exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $21.73-$22.27 after having opened the day at $21.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22. Other companies within the Health Services industry that increased today were: Synergetics USA ( SURG), up 13.1%, Vision-Sciences Inc (DE ( VSCI), up 7.5%, Kips Bay Medical ( KIPS), up 7.5%, and Pro-Dex ( PDEX), up 6.5%.
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Health Net, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides managed health care services. Health Net has a market cap of $1.78 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.3, above the average health services industry P/E ratio of 8.6 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 28.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Health Net a buy, five analysts rate it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Health Net as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

On the negative front, Dehaier Medical Systems ( DHRM), down 14.4%, Allied Healthcare Products ( AHPI), down 7.3%, Thermogenesis Corporation ( KOOL), down 7.1%, and Spherix ( SPEX), down 6%, were all laggards within the health services industry with Align Technology ( ALGN) 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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