5 Stocks Pushing The Health Services Industry Higher

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

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 42 points (0.3%) at 14,338 as of Thursday, March 7, 2013, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,674 issues advancing vs. 1,197 declining with 153 unchanged.

The Health Services industry currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the industry include Universal Health Services ( UHS), up 2.1%, Life Technologies ( LIFE), up 1.8% and Smith & Nephew ( SNN), up 1.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include DaVita HealthCare Partners ( DVA), down 2.6%, and Fresenius Medical Care Corporation ( FMS), down 0.7%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

5. Tenet Healthcare ( THC) is one of the companies pushing the Health Services industry higher today. As of noon trading, Tenet Healthcare is up $1.17 (2.9%) to $41.55 on light volume Thus far, 710,916 shares of Tenet Healthcare exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $40.31-$41.59 after having opened the day at $40.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.38.

Tenet Healthcare Corporation, an investor-owned health care services company, owns and operates acute care hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, diagnostic imaging centers, and related health care facilities in the United States. Tenet Healthcare has a market cap of $4.2 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 24.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Tenet Healthcare a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Tenet Healthcare as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins. Get the full Tenet Healthcare Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Aetna ( AET) is up $0.54 (1.1%) to $49.57 on light volume Thus far, 960,644 shares of Aetna exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.89-$49.61 after having opened the day at $48.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.03.

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 $15.7 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.9% 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 6 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, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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. Get the full Aetna Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, HCA Holdings ( HCA) is up $0.48 (1.3%) to $37.39 on light volume Thus far, 1.7 million shares of HCA Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $36.85-$37.46 after having opened the day at $36.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.91.

HCA Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides health care services in the United States. HCA Holdings has a market cap of $16.4 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 22.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 18 analysts that rate HCA Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HCA Holdings 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, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins. Get the full HCA Holdings Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Express Scripts ( ESRX) is up $0.63 (1.1%) to $58.80 on average volume Thus far, 3.4 million shares of Express Scripts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $58.18-$59.36 after having opened the day at $58.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.17.

Express Scripts Holding Company provides a range of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services in North America. Express Scripts has a market cap of $47.6 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 32.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Express Scripts a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Express Scripts as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, reasonable valuation levels, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Express Scripts Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, UnitedHealth Group ( UNH) is up $0.50 (0.9%) to $54.11 on light volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of UnitedHealth Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $53.69-$54.14 after having opened the day at $53.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.61.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $54.8 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 down 1.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate UnitedHealth Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates UnitedHealth Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full UnitedHealth Group Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, 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).

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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