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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 23 points (-0.2%) at 13,146 as of Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,344 issues advancing vs. 1,517 declining with 152 unchanged.

The Health Services industry currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. Top gainers within the industry include Community Health Systems ( CYH), up 1.6%, ResMed ( RMD), up 1.0% and Quest Diagnostics ( DGX), up 0.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include Centene Corporation ( CNC), down 8.5%, WellCare Health Plans ( WCG), down 5.9%, Molina Healthcare ( MOH), down 4.3% and Life Technologies ( LIFE), down 1.4%.

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

5. Boston Scientific ( BSX) is one of the companies pushing the Health Services industry higher today. As of noon trading, Boston Scientific is up $0.04 (0.7%) to $5.67 on light volume Thus far, 2.7 million shares of Boston Scientific exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $5.66-$5.76 after having opened the day at $5.72 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.63.

Boston Scientific Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets medical devices used in various interventional medical specialties worldwide. Boston Scientific has a market cap of $7.8 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 6.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Boston Scientific a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Boston Scientific as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself. Get the full Boston Scientific Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Edwards Life ( EW) is up $0.71 (0.8%) to $91.20 on light volume Thus far, 365,935 shares of Edwards Life exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $90.15-$91.59 after having opened the day at $90.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $90.49.

Edwards Lifesciences Corporation provides products and technologies to treat advanced cardiovascular diseases or critically ill patients worldwide. Edwards Life has a market cap of $10.5 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 39.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 28.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Edwards Life a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Edwards Life 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, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income 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 Edwards Life Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, DaVita HealthCare Partners ( DVA) is up $2.42 (2.3%) to $109.41 on average volume Thus far, 548,308 shares of DaVita HealthCare Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $107.16-$110.13 after having opened the day at $108.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $106.99.

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 $10.2 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 41.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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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2. As of noon trading, HCA Holdings ( HCA) is up $0.20 (0.7%) to $31.05 on average volume Thus far, 1.9 million shares of HCA Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.92-$31.35 after having opened the day at $30.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.85.

HCA Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides health care services in the United States. HCA Holdings has a market cap of $14.5 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.9, below 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 Thursday. 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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1. As of noon trading, Express Scripts ( ESRX) is up $0.63 (1.2%) to $54.75 on light volume Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Express Scripts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $53.81-$54.84 after having opened the day at $53.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.12.

Express Scripts Holding Company provides a range of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services in North America. Express Scripts has a market cap of $44.3 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 21.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Express Scripts a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Express Scripts as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Express Scripts 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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