Aetna Inc (AET): 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.

Aetna ( AET) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Aetna rose 80 cents (1.8%) to $44.49 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6.9 million shares of Aetna exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $43.61-$44.55 after having opened the day at $43.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.69. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: Novogen ( NVGN), up 32.7%, Gentiva Health Services ( GTIV), up 21.2%, Prestige Brands Holdings ( PBH), up 18.5%, and Savient Pharmaceuticals ( SVNT), up 17.9%.
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Aetna Inc. operates as a diversified health care benefits company in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance, and Large Case Pensions. Aetna has a market cap of $14.74 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Aetna a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aetna as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, increase in net income and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, Pain Therapeutics ( PTIE), down 36.6%, Durect Corporation ( DRRX), down 33.6%, Abiomed ( ABMD), down 31.3%, and Graymark Healthcare ( GRMH), down 23.1%, were all laggards within the health care sector with Arena Pharmaceuticals ( ARNA) 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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