Laboratory Corporation Of America Holdings (LH): Today's Featured Health Care 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

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings ( LH) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.7%. By the end of trading, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings rose $1.28 (1.3%) to $97.68 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,119,463 shares of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 804,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $95.95-$97.79 after having opened the day at $96.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $96.40. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: Aegerion Pharmaceuticals ( AEGR), up 31.4%, Halozyme Therapeutics ( HALO), up 18.4%, Tesaro ( TSRO), up 14.1% and Prothena Corporation ( PRTA), up 13.1%.
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Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings operates as an independent clinical laboratory company worldwide. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings has a market cap of $8.9 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Biota Pharmaceuticals ( BOTA), down 66.5%, Oncothyreon ( ONTY), down 24.5%, Infinity Pharmaceuticals ( INFI), down 22.6% and Idera Pharmaceuticals ( IDRA), down 16.2% , were all laggards within the health care sector with Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX) being today's health care sector laggard.

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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