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 62 points (0.4%) at 14,518 as of Thursday, March 14, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,808 issues advancing vs. 1,087 declining with 143 unchanged.

The Health Services industry currently sits up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.5%. Top gainers within the industry include Health Management Associates ( HMA), up 3.2%, Community Health Systems ( CYH), up 2.4%, Smith & Nephew ( SNN), up 2.5%, Fresenius Medical Care Corporation ( FMS), up 1.1% and DaVita HealthCare Partners ( DVA), up 0.9%. A company within the industry that fell today was Edwards Life ( EW), up 1.2%.

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

5. Quest Diagnostics ( DGX) is one of the companies pushing the Health Services industry higher today. As of noon trading, Quest Diagnostics is up $0.68 (1.2%) to $56.66 on average volume Thus far, 607,869 shares of Quest Diagnostics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $55.85-$56.73 after having opened the day at $56.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.99.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing information services in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two businesses, Diagnostic Information Services and Diagnostic Solutions. Quest Diagnostics has a market cap of $8.9 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Quest Diagnostics a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Quest Diagnostics as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Quest Diagnostics Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Becton Dickinson ( BDX) is up $1.38 (1.5%) to $92.45 on heavy volume Thus far, 881,361 shares of Becton Dickinson exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $90.71-$92.48 after having opened the day at $91.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $91.07.

Becton, Dickinson and Company, a medical technology company, develops, manufactures, and sells medical devices, instrument systems, and reagents worldwide. The company's BD Medical segment produces medical devices that are used in various healthcare settings. Becton Dickinson has a market cap of $17.5 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 16.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Becton Dickinson a buy, 5 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Becton Dickinson as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Becton Dickinson Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, HCA Holdings ( HCA) is up $0.16 (0.4%) to $38.44 on average volume Thus far, 2.0 million shares of HCA Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $38.27-$38.79 after having opened the day at $38.47 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.28.

HCA Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides health care services in the United States. HCA Holdings has a market cap of $16.9 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 26.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 17 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, Baxter International ( BAX) is up $0.62 (0.9%) to $70.25 on average volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Baxter International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $69.72-$70.26 after having opened the day at $69.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.63.

Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets products for people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. Baxter International has a market cap of $37.8 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Baxter International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Baxter International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full Baxter International Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG) is up $5.02 (1.0%) to $514.35 on average volume Thus far, 194,285 shares of Intuitive Surgical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 508,400 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $509.66-$517.00 after having opened the day at $514.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $509.33.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems, and related instruments and accessories. Intuitive Surgical has a market cap of $20.7 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 32.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Intuitive Surgical a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Intuitive Surgical 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, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. Get the full Intuitive Surgical 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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