C.R. Bard Inc. (BCR): Today's Featured Health Care Laggard

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.

C.R. Bard ( BCR) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1%. By the end of trading, C.R. Bard fell $2.72 (-2.7%) to $99.35 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1.8 million shares of C.R. Bard exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 533,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $97.79-$100.77 after having opened the day at $99.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $102.07. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: Echo Therapeutics ( ECTE), down 28.4%, ARCA biopharma ( ABIO), down 24.7%, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals ( KERX), down 21.7%, and Celsion Corporation ( CLSN), down 12.6%.
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C. R. Bard, Inc. and its subsidiaries design, manufacture, package, distribute, and sell medical, surgical, diagnostic, and patient care devices worldwide. C.R. Bard has a market cap of $8.41 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are six analysts that rate C.R. Bard a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates C.R. Bard as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, revenue growth, notable return on equity, 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 positive front, Alimera ( ALIM), up 19.9%, Edap TMS ( EDAP), up 17.8%, pSivida ( PSDV), up 17.5%, and Abaxis ( ABAX), up 14.4%, were all gainers within the health care sector with Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG) being today's featured health care sector leader.

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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