Humana (HUM): 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.

Humana ( HUM) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Humana fell 87 cents (-1.3%) to $68.29 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 4.4 million shares of Humana exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $68.13-$69.03 after having opened the day at $68.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.16. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals ( CYCC), down 12.3%, iBio ( IBIO), down 10.7%, Nymox Pharmaceutical Corporation ( NYMX), down 10.4%, and Biostar Pharmaceuticals ( BSPM), down 10.2%.
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Humana Inc. operates as a health care company that offers a range of insurance products and health and wellness services that incorporate an integrated approach to lifelong well-being. Humana has a market cap of $10.88 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 21.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Humana a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Humana as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Galena Biopharma ( GALE), up 21.4%, OxiGene ( OXGN), up 20.9%, Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners ( CPRX), up 17%, and Dynavax Technologies Corporation ( DVAX), up 13.4%, were all gainers within the health care sector with Life Technologies ( LIFE) 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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