5 Stocks Pushing The Health Services Industry Higher

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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 17 points (0.1%) at 13,052 as of Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,459 issues advancing vs. 1,413 declining with 145 unchanged.

The Health Services industry currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the industry include Bio-Reference Labs ( BRLI), up 5.4%, ResMed ( RMD), up 1.2%, Mindray Medical International ( MR), up 1.2%, Universal Health Services ( UHS), up 1.2% and Edwards Life ( EW), up 0.9%. A company within the industry that fell today was Baxter International ( BAX), up 0.6%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

5. Life Technologies ( LIFE) is one of the companies pushing the Health Services industry higher today. As of noon trading, Life Technologies is up $0.62 (1.3%) to $49.59 on light volume Thus far, 352,104 shares of Life Technologies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.82-$49.65 after having opened the day at $49.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.97.

Life Technologies Corporation operates as a global life sciences company. Life Technologies has a market cap of $8.4 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 25.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Life Technologies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Life Technologies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Life Technologies Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, DaVita HealthCare Partners ( DVA) is up $0.96 (0.9%) to $107.28 on average volume Thus far, 467,050 shares of DaVita HealthCare Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $105.59-$107.39 after having opened the day at $106.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $106.32.

DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. provides kidney dialysis services for patients suffering from chronic kidney failure, or end stage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States. DaVita HealthCare Partners has a market cap of $10.1 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 40.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate DaVita HealthCare Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

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

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3. As of noon trading, HCA Holdings ( HCA) is up $0.46 (1.4%) to $32.86 on light volume Thus far, 734,595 shares of HCA Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.15-$32.93 after having opened the day at $32.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.40.

HCA Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides health care services in the United States. HCA Holdings has a market cap of $14.1 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 47.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate HCA Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HCA Holdings as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its poor profit margins and feeble growth in its earnings per share. Get the full HCA Holdings Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Cigna ( CI) is up $0.26 (0.5%) to $52.18 on light volume Thus far, 330,850 shares of Cigna exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $51.86-$52.25 after having opened the day at $51.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.92.

CIGNA Corporation, a health services organization, through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and related products and services in the United States and internationally. Cigna has a market cap of $14.8 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 23.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Cigna a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cigna as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, increase in net income and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Cigna Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG) is up $2.68 (0.5%) to $519.45 on light volume Thus far, 82,042 shares of Intuitive Surgical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 361,200 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $510.00-$519.45 after having opened the day at $515.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $516.77.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems for various surgical procedures, including urologic, gynecologic, cardiothoracic, general, and head and neck surgeries. Intuitive Surgical has a market cap of $21.0 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 34.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Intuitive Surgical a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Intuitive Surgical as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. Get the full Intuitive Surgical Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 5 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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