Today's Stocks Driving Success For The Health Services Industry

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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 3 points (0.0%) at 15,304 as of Thursday, May 23, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 979 issues advancing vs. 1,985 declining with 110 unchanged.

The Health Services industry currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.37. Top gainers within the industry include CareFusion ( CFN), up 0.9%, and Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA ( FMS), up 0.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include Agilent Technologies ( A), down 1.34, and Varian Medical Systems ( VAR), down 1.29.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

5. Quest Diagnostics ( DGX) is one of the companies pushing the Health Services industry higher today. As of noon trading, Quest Diagnostics is up $0.54 (0.88) to $61.66 on average volume Thus far, 539,375 shares of Quest Diagnostics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $60.69-$61.83 after having opened the day at $60.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.12.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing information services in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two businesses, Diagnostic Information Services and Diagnostic Solutions. Quest Diagnostics has a market cap of $9.7 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Quest Diagnostics a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Quest Diagnostics as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Quest Diagnostics Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Edwards Life ( EW) is up $1.85 (2.88) to $66.15 on average volume Thus far, 774,735 shares of Edwards Life exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $63.95-$66.26 after having opened the day at $63.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $64.30.

Edwards Lifesciences Corporation provides products and technologies to treat structural heart disease and critically ill patients worldwide. Edwards Life has a market cap of $7.5 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 26.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Edwards Life a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Edwards Life 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Edwards Life Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, HCA Holdings ( HCA) is up $0.44 (1.18) to $37.73 on light volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of HCA Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $36.67-$37.91 after having opened the day at $37.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.29.

HCA Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides health care services in the United States. HCA Holdings has a market cap of $16.8 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 24.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate HCA Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HCA Holdings 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, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow. Get the full HCA Holdings Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Aetna ( AET) is up $0.42 (0.71) to $59.95 on light volume Thus far, 989,994 shares of Aetna exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $59.03-$60.12 after having opened the day at $59.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.53.

Aetna Inc. operates as a diversified health care benefits company in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance, and Large Case Pensions. Aetna has a market cap of $19.6 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 30.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Aetna a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aetna as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Aetna 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.

1. As of noon trading, Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG) is up $8.45 (1.80) to $478.75 on average volume Thus far, 213,751 shares of Intuitive Surgical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 508,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $465.11-$481.00 after having opened the day at $466.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $470.30.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems, and related instruments and accessories. Intuitive Surgical has a market cap of $19.5 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Intuitive Surgical a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Intuitive Surgical 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Intuitive Surgical 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 5 stocks, 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).

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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