Express Scripts (ESRX): 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

Express Scripts ( ESRX) pushed the Health Services industry higher today making it today's featured health services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Express Scripts rose $1.32 (2.3%) to $58.00 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5,523,763 shares of Express Scripts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,679,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $56.68-$58.11 after having opened the day at $56.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.68. Other companies within the Health Services industry that increased today were: IPC The Hospitalist Company ( IPCM), up 12.9%, Icon ( ICLR), up 9.2%, Lakeland Industries ( LAKE), up 8.3% and IMRIS ( IMRS), up 7.1%.
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Express Scripts Holding Company provides a range of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services primarily in the United States and Canada. It offers healthcare management and administration services on behalf of its clients. Express Scripts has a market cap of $46.3 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.5, above 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.

TheStreet Ratings rates Express Scripts as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, Amedisys ( AMED), down 8.3%, Vision-Sciences Inc (DE ( VSCI), down 6.7%, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals ( IRWD), down 6.4% and Varian Medical Systems ( VAR), down 6.3% , were all laggards within the health services industry with Thermo Fisher Scientific ( TMO) 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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