Baxter International Inc. (BAX): 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.

Baxter International ( BAX) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Baxter International rose $1.19 (1.8%) to $67.78 on average volume. Throughout the day, four million shares of Baxter International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $65.89-$67.98 after having opened the day at $66.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.59. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: Kips Bay Medical ( KIPS), up 15.9%, Aoxing Pharmaceutical Company ( AXN), up 14.3%, Synthetic Biologics ( SYN), up 13.9%, and Biodel ( BIOD), up 13.6%.
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Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets products for people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. Baxter International has a market cap of $36.73 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Baxter International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Baxter International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, NeuroMetrix ( NUROD), down 7.8%, Opko Health ( OPK), down 6.8%, Uroplasty ( UPI), down 6.4%, and Rockwell Medical ( RMTI), down 6.3%, were all laggards within the health care sector with Perrigo Company ( PRGO) 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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