UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH): 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.

UnitedHealth Group ( UNH) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.2%. By the end of trading, UnitedHealth Group fell 82 cents (-1.5%) to $53.44 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 8.7 million shares of UnitedHealth Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.6 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $53.42-$54.98 after having opened the day at $54.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.26. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: Genomic Health ( GHDX), down 17.1%, ZELTIQ Aesthetics ( ZLTQ), down 13.9%, OraSure Technologies ( OSUR), down 12.1%, and Mela ( MELA), down 10.4%.
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UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $57.6 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate UnitedHealth Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates UnitedHealth Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Providence Service Corporation ( PRSC), up 17.6%, Spherix ( SPEX), up 12.6%, NxStage Medical Incorporated ( NXTM), up 10.6%, and NeuroMetrix ( NUROD), up 8.1%, were all gainers within the health services industry with Align Technology ( ALGN) 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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