Humana (HUM): Today's Featured Health Care Winner

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 higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Humana rose $1.46 (2.2%) to $66.65 on average volume. Throughout the day, two million shares of Humana exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of two million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $65.48-$66.72 after having opened the day at $65.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.19. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: CombiMatrix Corporation ( CBMX), up 336.6%, Telik ( TELK), up 24%, Cyanotech Corporation ( CYAN), up 13.7%, and Oxygen Biotherapeutics ( OXBT), up 11.5%.
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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 $10.29 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 25.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 negative front, Cardica ( CRDC), down 19.4%, Amarin Corporation ( AMRN), down 18.9%, Corcept Therapeutics ( CORT), down 11.7%, and China Botanic Pharmaceutical ( CBP), down 11.6%, were all laggards within the health care sector with Vivus ( VVUS) being today's health care sector laggard.

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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