3 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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 28 points (-0.2%) at 13,217 as of Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, 12:05 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,125 issues advancing vs. 1,742 declining with 157 unchanged.

The Health Services industry currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. A company within the industry that fell today was Smith & Nephew ( SNN), up 0.9%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

3. Mednax ( MD) is one of the companies pushing the Health Services industry higher today. As of noon trading, Mednax is up $0.87 (1.1%) to $79.88 on light volume Thus far, 136,997 shares of Mednax exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 390,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $78.81-$80.28 after having opened the day at $79.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $79.01.

MEDNAX, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides neonatal, maternal-fetal, other pediatric subspecialties, and anesthesia physician services in the United States and Puerto Rico. Mednax has a market cap of $3.9 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Mednax a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mednax 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, growth in earnings per share and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Mednax Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings ( LH) is up $0.48 (0.6%) to $87.62 on average volume Thus far, 288,535 shares of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 685,900 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $87.01-$87.77 after having opened the day at $87.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $87.14.

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings operates as an independent clinical laboratory company in the United States. The company offers a range of testing services used by the medical profession in routine testing, patient diagnosis, and in the monitoring and treatment of diseases. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings has a market cap of $8.1 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 down 0.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, St Jude Medical ( STJ) is up $0.18 (0.5%) to $35.71 on light volume Thus far, 717,744 shares of St Jude Medical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $35.39-$35.90 after having opened the day at $35.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.53.

St. Jude Medical, Inc. develops, manufactures, and distributes cardiovascular and implantable neurostimulation medical devices worldwide. It operates in four segments: Cardiac Rhythm Management, Cardiovascular, Atrial Fibrillation, and Neuromodulation. St Jude Medical has a market cap of $10.9 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate St Jude Medical a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates St Jude Medical as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and disappointing return on equity. Get the full St Jude Medical Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 3 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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