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

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 40 points (0.3%) at 13,114 as of Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,438 issues advancing vs. 1,420 declining with 156 unchanged.

The Health Services industry currently sits up 0.8% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. Top gainers within the industry include WellCare Health Plans ( WCG), up 3.9%, HCA Holdings ( HCA), up 2.1% and Humana ( HUM), up 1.5%. A company within the industry that fell today was Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG), up 0.8%.

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

5. ResMed ( RMD) is one of the companies pushing the Health Services industry higher today. As of noon trading, ResMed is up $0.42 (1.0%) to $41.56 on light volume Thus far, 204,021 shares of ResMed exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.22-$41.66 after having opened the day at $41.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.13.

ResMed Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the development, manufacture, and distribution of medical equipment for treating, diagnosing, and managing sleep-disordered breathing and other respiratory disorders. ResMed has a market cap of $5.8 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 61.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate ResMed a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ResMed 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, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full ResMed Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Hologic ( HOLX) is up $0.20 (1.0%) to $19.45 on average volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Hologic exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $19.24-$19.50 after having opened the day at $19.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.25.

Hologic Inc. develops, manufactures, and supplies diagnostic, medical imaging systems, and surgical products for the healthcare needs of women. The company operates in four segments: Breast Health, Diagnostics, GYN Surgical, and Skeletal Health. Hologic has a market cap of $5.1 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 9.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Hologic a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hologic as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and generally higher debt management risk. Get the full Hologic Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Varian Medical Systems ( VAR) is up $0.51 (0.7%) to $70.12 on light volume Thus far, 157,494 shares of Varian Medical Systems exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 998,600 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $69.38-$70.17 after having opened the day at $69.87 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.61.

Varian Medical Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, sells, and services equipment and software products for treating cancer with radiotherapy, stereotactic radiotherapy, stereotactic body radiotherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, and brachytherapy worldwide. Varian Medical Systems has a market cap of $7.6 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Varian Medical Systems a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Varian Medical Systems 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, increase in stock price during the past year, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full Varian Medical Systems Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, WellPoint ( WLP) is up $0.79 (1.4%) to $57.41 on light volume Thus far, 897,023 shares of WellPoint exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $56.67-$57.65 after having opened the day at $56.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.62.

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 $17.0 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 15.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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.

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1. As of noon trading, Aetna ( AET) is up $0.82 (1.9%) to $44.24 on light volume Thus far, 1.7 million shares of Aetna exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.04-$44.63 after having opened the day at $44.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.43.

Aetna Inc. operates as a diversified health care benefits company in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance, and Large Case Pensions. Aetna has a market cap of $14.6 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Aetna a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

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