3 Stocks Pushing The Health Care Sector Lower

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

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 24 points (-0.2%) at 14,029 as of Friday, March 1, 2013, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,249 issues advancing vs. 1,609 declining with 131 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Medivation ( MDVN), down 6.6%, ResMed ( RMD), down 2.0% and Sanofi ( SNY), down 0.6%. Top gainers within the sector include Celgene Corporation ( CELG), up 1.4%, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ( REGN), up 1.2%, Express Scripts ( ESRX), up 0.6%, Stryker Corporation ( SYK), up 0.8% and Amgen ( AMGN), up 0.5%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector lower today:

3. Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector lower today. As of noon trading, Vertex Pharmaceuticals is down $0.75 (-1.6%) to $46.07 on average volume Thus far, 788,143 shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $45.52-$46.58 after having opened the day at $46.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.82.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated engages in discovering, developing, manufacturing, and commercializing small molecule drugs for the treatment of serious diseases worldwide. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $10.2 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 12.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Vertex Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vertex Pharmaceuticals as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Vertex Pharmaceuticals Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ( TEVA) is down $0.23 (-0.6%) to $37.17 on light volume Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $37.10-$37.43 after having opened the day at $37.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.40.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes pharmaceutical products worldwide. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has a market cap of $32.1 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Teva Pharmaceutical Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 15 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Teva Pharmaceutical Industries as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. Get the full Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Merck ( MRK) is down $0.24 (-0.6%) to $42.49 on average volume Thus far, 5.6 million shares of Merck exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.33-$42.67 after having opened the day at $42.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.73.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products. Merck has a market cap of $130.6 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Merck a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

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

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If you are interested in one of these 3 stocks, 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).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: 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.

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