WellCare Health Plans Inc. (WCG): 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.

WellCare Health Plans ( WCG) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, WellCare Health Plans rose 59 cents (1%) to $58.77 on average volume. Throughout the day, 577,355 shares of WellCare Health Plans exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 677,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $57.66-$58.96 after having opened the day at $58.36 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.18. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: CombiMatrix Corporation ( CBMX), up 136%, NeuroMetrix ( NURO), up 29.2%, NeuroMetrix ( NUROD), up 29.2%, and Alimera ( ALIM), up 24.8%.
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WellCare Health Plans, Inc. provides managed care services for government-sponsored health care programs in the United States. WellCare Health Plans has a market cap of $2.57 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 21.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are five analysts that rate WellCare Health Plans a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates WellCare Health Plans as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Gentium SpA ( GENT), down 20.6%, Chelsea Therapeutics International ( CHTP), down 11%, Achillion Pharmaceuticals ( ACHN), down 10.8%, and Urologix ( ULGX), down 10.7%, were all laggards within the health care sector with Stryker Corporation ( SYK) 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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