Health Management Associates Inc. (HMA): Health Care's Featured Underachiever Of The Day

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.

Health Management Associates ( HMA) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.3%. By the end of trading, Health Management Associates fell $2.06 (-16.4%) to $10.53 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 28.7 million shares of Health Management Associates exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $10.20-$11.18 after having opened the day at $10.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.59. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: Synergy Pharmaceuticals ( SGYP), down 17%, Harvard Bioscience ( HBIO), down 13.6%, iBio ( IBIO), down 9.2%, and Infinity Pharmaceuticals ( INFI), down 9%.
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Health Management Associates, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the operation of general acute care hospitals and other health care facilities in non-urban communities in the United States. Health Management Associates has a market cap of $3.25 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 35% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Health Management Associates a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Health Management Associates as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, revenue growth, growth in earnings per share and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Star Scientific ( STSI), up 14.8%, OxiGene ( OXGN), up 14.2%, BioTime ( BTX), up 12.6%, and Spherix ( SPEX), up 12.2%, were all gainers within the health care sector with Merck ( MRK) being today's featured health care sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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).

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