4 Stocks Pushing The Health Care Sector 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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 25 points (-0.2%) at 14,513 as of Friday, March 15, 2013, 12:49 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,309 issues advancing vs. 1,578 declining with 140 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Express Scripts ( ESRX), up 2.0%, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company ( BMY), up 1.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG), down 4.8%, Edwards Life ( EW), down 2.8%, Stryker Corporation ( SYK), down 1.0%, Baxter International ( BAX), down 1.1% and Amgen ( AMGN), down 0.8%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

4. Novo Nordisk A/S ( NVO) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector higher today. As of noon trading, Novo Nordisk A/S is up $2.76 (1.6%) to $175.76 on heavy volume Thus far, 515,587 shares of Novo Nordisk A/S exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 319,400 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $173.54-$175.87 after having opened the day at $174.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $173.00.

Novo Nordisk A/S engages in the discovery, development, manufacture, and marketing of pharmaceutical products primarily in Denmark. It operates in two segments, Diabetes Care and Biopharmaceuticals. Novo Nordisk A/S has a market cap of $97.8 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Novo Nordisk A/S a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Novo Nordisk A/S 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and impressive record of earnings per share growth. 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 Novo Nordisk A/S Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Sanofi ( SNY) is up $0.33 (0.7%) to $49.63 on average volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Sanofi exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $49.32-$49.90 after having opened the day at $49.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.30.

Sanofi researches, develops, manufactures, and markets healthcare products worldwide. Sanofi has a market cap of $129.9 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Sanofi a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sanofi as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance 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 Sanofi Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Novartis ( NVS) is up $0.97 (1.4%) to $69.92 on heavy volume Thus far, 1.8 million shares of Novartis exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $69.38-$70.10 after having opened the day at $69.73 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.95.

Novartis AG engages in the research, development, manufacture, and marketing of a range of healthcare products worldwide. Novartis has a market cap of $166.1 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.6, equal to the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Novartis a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Novartis 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 reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Novartis Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Alexion Pharmaceuticals ( ALXN) is up $2.11 (2.3%) to $93.95 on heavy volume Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $91.41-$94.41 after having opened the day at $91.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $91.84.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the development and commercialization of life-transforming therapeutic products. Alexion Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $17.9 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 71.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate Alexion Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alexion Pharmaceuticals 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, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Alexion Pharmaceuticals Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 4 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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