Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX): Today's Featured Health Care 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.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Vertex Pharmaceuticals fell $1.01 (-2.2%) to $44 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3.5 million shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $42.70-$45 after having opened the day at $42.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $45.01. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: Clovis Oncology ( CLVS), down 41.8%, Galena Biopharma ( GALE), down 31%, Omeros Corporation ( OMER), down 15%, and Progenics Pharmaceuticals ( PGNX), down 14.1%.
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Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated engages in discovering, developing, manufacturing, and commercializing small molecule drugs for the treatment of serious diseases worldwide. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $9.67 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 72, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 34.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Vertex Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vertex Pharmaceuticals as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

On the positive front, CombiMatrix Corporation ( CBMX), up 32.2%, Idera Pharmaceuticals ( IDRA), up 21.6%, Sarepta Therapeutics ( SRPT), up 19.3%, and Myrexis ( MYRX), up 17.9%, were all gainers within the health care sector with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ( REGN) being today's featured health care sector leader.

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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