WellPoint Inc (WLP): 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.

WellPoint ( WLP) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, WellPoint fell 79 cents (-1.3%) to $61.92 on average volume. Throughout the day, two million shares of WellPoint exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $61.68-$63.20 after having opened the day at $62.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $62.71. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: CombiMatrix Corporation ( CBMX), down 21.9%, EnteroMedics ( ETRM), down 19.6%, Merit Medical Systems ( MMSI), down 15.2%, and SunLink Health Systems ( SSY), down 13.5%.
  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

WellPoint, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a health benefits company in the United States. The company offers various network-based managed care plans to large and small employer, individual, Medicaid, and senior markets. WellPoint has a market cap of $19 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are five analysts that rate WellPoint a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

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

On the positive front, USMD Holdings ( USMD), up 18.9%, Edap TMS ( EDAP), up 18.3%, Urologix ( ULGX), up 11.9%, and DexCom ( DXCM), up 11.3%, were all gainers within the health services industry with Boston Scientific ( BSX) 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).

It's Official: Action Alerts PLUS beats the S&P 500 with Dividends Reinvested! Cramer and Link were up 16.72% in 2012. Were you? See what they are trading for 14-days FREE.
null

If you liked this article you might like

How Walmart and Costco Could See a Future Flush With Profits Thanks to an Abundance of Cute Puppies

U.S. Stocks Open Higher as Anthem Buys Cigna in $54 Billion Deal

Anthem Buying Cigna in $54.2 Billion Cash and Stock Deal

Cigna Shares Soar on Reports of $48 Billion Anthem Buyout

Anthem’s Massive Data Breach Could Affect Customers for Years