4 Stocks Pushing The Health Services Industry Higher

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the health services industry higher today, Nov. 15, 2012.

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

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 46 points (-0.4%) at 12,524 as of Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 12:05 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 797 issues advancing vs. 2,184 declining with 91 unchanged.

The Health Services industry currently sits down 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.4%. Top gainers within the industry include Cigna ( CI), up 1.8%, and Express Scripts ( ESRX), up 0.7%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include Mindray Medical International ( MR), down 2.2%, Cooper Companies ( COO), down 1.3%, HCA Holdings ( HCA), down 1.0% and Thermo Fisher Scientific ( TMO), down 0.8%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

4. Health Net ( HNT) is one of the companies pushing the Health Services industry higher today. As of noon trading, Health Net is up $0.73 (3.1%) to $24.58 on average volume Thus far, 391,752 shares of Health Net exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $23.80-$24.63 after having opened the day at $23.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.85.

Health Net, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides managed health care services. Health Net has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 30.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 18.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Health Net a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Health Net as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have evaluated. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Health Net Ratings Report now.

3. As of noon trading, Becton Dickinson ( BDX) is up $0.48 (0.6%) to $75.11 on average volume Thus far, 370,005 shares of Becton Dickinson exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 983,100 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $74.65-$75.46 after having opened the day at $74.73 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $74.63.

Becton, Dickinson and Company, a medical technology company, develops, manufactures, and sells medical devices, instrument systems, and reagents worldwide. The company's BD Medical segment produces medical devices that are used in various healthcare settings. Becton Dickinson has a market cap of $14.9 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Becton Dickinson a buy, 5 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Becton Dickinson as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Becton Dickinson Ratings Report now.

2. As of noon trading, WellPoint ( WLP) is up $0.58 (1.1%) to $54.90 on light volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of WellPoint exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $54.25-$55.20 after having opened the day at $54.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.33.

WellPoint, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a health benefits company in the United States. The company offers various network-based managed care plans to large and small employer, individual, Medicaid, and senior markets. WellPoint has a market cap of $16.9 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 16.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate WellPoint a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates WellPoint as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full WellPoint Ratings Report now.

1. As of noon trading, Baxter International ( BAX) is up $0.51 (0.8%) to $65.55 on average volume Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Baxter International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $64.83-$65.86 after having opened the day at $64.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.04.

Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets products for people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. Baxter International has a market cap of $36.2 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 33.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Baxter International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Baxter International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Baxter International Ratings Report now.

If you are interested in one of these 4 stocks, 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).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: 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.

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