Baxter International Inc. (BAX): Today's Featured Health Services Laggard

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

Baxter International ( BAX) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.0%. By the end of trading, Baxter International fell $0.97 (-1.3%) to $71.34 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,309,052 shares of Baxter International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,596,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $70.85-$72.03 after having opened the day at $71.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.31. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: TranS1 ( TSON), down 15.8%, Oculus Innovative ( OCLS), down 14.0%, Unilife Corporation ( UNIS), down 10.6% and Kips Bay Medical ( KIPS), down 6.6%.
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Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets products for people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. Baxter International has a market cap of $38.8 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Baxter International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Baxter International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, IsoRay ( ISR), down 13.8%, Medical Action Industries ( MDCI), down 7.2%, Dynatronics Corporation ( DYNT), down 5.0% and Response Genetics ( RGDX), down 4.9%.

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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