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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 3 points (0.0%) at 14,977 as of Monday, May 6, 2013, 12:49 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,675 issues advancing vs. 1,221 declining with 157 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), up 3.0%, Humana ( HUM), up 3.0%, St Jude Medical ( STJ), up 2.7% and Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA ( FMS), up 2.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Grifols ( GRFS), down 2.36, and Express Scripts ( ESRX), down 1.04.

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 $1.94 (1.13) to $174.12 on light volume Thus far, 69,234 shares of Novo Nordisk A/S exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 360,800 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $172.72-$174.12 after having opened the day at $173.47 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $172.18.

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 $94.8 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 5.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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, Covidien ( COV) is up $1.23 (1.91) to $65.58 on heavy volume Thus far, 2.4 million shares of Covidien exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $64.35-$65.69 after having opened the day at $64.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $64.35.

Covidien plc develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings worldwide. Covidien has a market cap of $30.2 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Covidien a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Covidien as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, 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 Covidien Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX) is up $1.55 (2.04) to $77.54 on average volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $75.51-$77.80 after having opened the day at $76.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $75.99.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated engages in discovering, developing, manufacturing, and commercializing small molecule drugs for patients with serious diseases. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $17.0 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 81.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Vertex Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vertex Pharmaceuticals as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Vertex Pharmaceuticals 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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