Aetna Inc (AET): Today's Featured Health Services 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.

Aetna ( AET) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Aetna fell 48 cents (-1%) to $47.76 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3.3 million shares of Aetna exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $47.36-$48.59 after having opened the day at $48.26 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.24. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: Urologix ( ULGX), down 10.7%, Symmetry Medical ( SMA), down 9.4%, LipoScience ( LPDX), down 7.1%, and Nanosphere ( NSPH), down 6.9%.
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Aetna Inc. operates as a diversified health care benefits company in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance, and Large Case Pensions. Aetna has a market cap of $16.29 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Aetna a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aetna as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, CombiMatrix Corporation ( CBMX), up 136%, NeuroMetrix ( NURO), up 29.2%, NeuroMetrix ( NUROD), up 29.2%, and CAS Medical Systems ( CASM), up 5.8%, were all gainers within the health services industry with HCA Holdings ( HCA) being today's featured health services industry leader.

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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