C.R. Bard Inc. (BCR): Today's Featured Health Services 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 Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, C.R. Bard fell $2.45 (-2.5%) to $96.25 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1.2 million shares of C.R. Bard exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 513,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $95.74-$98.38 after having opened the day at $96.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $98.70. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: Arrhythmia Research Technology ( HRT), down 10%, Thermogenesis Corporation ( KOOL), down 7.2%, Assisted Living Concepts ( ALC), down 5.8%, and Stereotaxis ( STXS), down 5.8%.
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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 $8.26 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.7, 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 15.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are three analysts that rate C.R. Bard a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 11 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, increase in stock price during the past year, notable return on equity, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Kips Bay Medical ( KIPS), up 26.3%, Molina Healthcare ( MOH), up 13.6%, NuVasive ( NUVA), up 12.8%, and Amsurg Corporation ( AMSG), up 7.6%, were all gainers within the health services industry with St Jude Medical ( STJ) being today's featured health services industry leader.

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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