Express Scripts (ESRX): Today's Featured Health Services 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.

Express Scripts ( ESRX) pushed the Health Services industry higher today making it today's featured health services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Express Scripts rose 64 cents (1.2%) to $54.76 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4.4 million shares of Express Scripts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $53.81-$55.05 after having opened the day at $53.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.12. Other companies within the Health Services industry that increased today were: Stereotaxis ( STXS), up 20%, Dynatronics Corporation ( DYNT), up 7.9%, ERBA Diagnostics ( ERB), up 7%, and Urologix ( ULGX), up 6.7%.
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Express Scripts Holding Company provides a range of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services in North America. Express Scripts has a market cap of $44.33 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 three 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.

On the negative front, Cardica ( CRDC), down 14.1%, Electromed ( ELMD), down 11.3%, Centene Corporation ( CNC), down 9.4%, and IsoRay ( ISR), down 8.3%, were all laggards within the health services industry with Humana ( HUM) being today's health services industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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).

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