3 Stocks Improving Performance Of The Health Care Sector

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 78 points (-0.5%) at 14,583 as of Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 720 issues advancing vs. 2,193 declining with 115 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits down 1.0% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.7%. Top gainers within the sector include Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG), up 2.5%, and Eli Lilly and Company ( LLY), up 1.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Tenet Healthcare ( THC), down 5.9%, Pharmacyclics Incorporated ( PCYC), down 5.5%, HCA Holdings ( HCA), down 4.7%, Sanofi ( SNY), down 0.8% and Baxter International ( BAX), down 0.7%.

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

3. 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 $1.50 (0.9%) to $165.85 on average volume Thus far, 149,567 shares of Novo Nordisk A/S exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 374,300 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $165.37-$166.89 after having opened the day at $166.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $164.35.

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 $90.9 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 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Novo Nordisk A/S a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates 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 shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Novo Nordisk A/S Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ( TEVA) is up $0.30 (0.8%) to $39.84 on average volume Thus far, 2.5 million shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $39.61-$39.89 after having opened the day at $39.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.55.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes pharmaceutical products worldwide. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has a market cap of $33.9 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.6, 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 Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Teva Pharmaceutical Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 14 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 up $1.15 (2.6%) to $46.06 on heavy volume Thus far, 15.6 million shares of Merck exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 16.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $45.00-$46.16 after having opened the day at $45.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.91.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products worldwide. Merck has a market cap of $134.0 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Merck a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Merck as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. 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.

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.

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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