Express Scripts (ESRX): 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.

Express Scripts ( ESRX) 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, Express Scripts fell $1.46 (-2.7%) to $53.35 on average volume. Throughout the day, 7.1 million shares of Express Scripts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $53.23-$54.86 after having opened the day at $54.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.81. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: CombiMatrix Corporation ( CBMX), down 45.1%, Novadaq Technologies ( NVDQ), down 7.7%, IMRIS ( IMRS), down 7.3%, and Alliance HealthCare Services ( AIQ), down 7.2%.
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Express Scripts Holding Company provides a range of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services in North America. Express Scripts has a market cap of $44.86 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 23% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate Express Scripts a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Express Scripts as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Kips Bay Medical ( KIPS), up 33%, Spherix ( SPEX), up 16.3%, Span-America Medical ( SPAN), up 10.7%, and Escalon Medical Corporation ( ESMC), up 9.6%, were all gainers within the health services industry with Covidien ( COV) 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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