Humana (HUM): Today's Featured Health Services Winner

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

Humana ( HUM) pushed the Health Services industry higher today making it today's featured health services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.2%. By the end of trading, Humana rose $0.84 (1.2%) to $73.05 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,310,815 shares of Humana exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,876,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $71.65-$73.45 after having opened the day at $72.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.21. Other companies within the Health Services industry that increased today were: Healthways ( HWAY), up 17.0%, CAS Medical Systems ( CASM), up 11.5%, Oculus Innovative ( OCLS), up 9.8% and IsoRay ( ISR), up 8.7%.
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Humana Inc. operates as a health care company that offers a range of insurance products and health and wellness services that incorporate an integrated approach to lifelong well-being. The company operates in three segments: Retail, Employer Group, and Health and Well-Being Services. Humana has a market cap of $11.8 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Humana 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, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, American Caresource Holdings ( ANCI), down 11.9%, LipoScience ( LPDX), down 6.6%, USMD Holdings ( USMD), down 5.9% and Response Genetics ( RGDX), down 5.5% , were all laggards within the health services industry with PerkinElmer ( PKI) being today's health services industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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).

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