Express Scripts (ESRX): 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

Express Scripts ( ESRX) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Express Scripts fell $1.48 (-2.3%) to $62.12 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,926,061 shares of Express Scripts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,161,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $62.12-$63.45 after having opened the day at $63.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.60. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: Escalon Medical Corporation ( ESMC), down 12.5%, Bovie Medical Corporation ( BVX), down 11.7%, SunLink Health Systems ( SSY), down 6.2% and ImmunoCellular Therapeutics ( IMUC), down 5.4%.
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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 $51.5 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 37.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 16.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Express Scripts a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Express Scripts as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, Uroplasty ( UPI), down 18.8%, MGC Diagnostics ( MGCD), down 12.9%, Kips Bay Medical ( KIPS), down 8.6% and Nanosphere ( NSPH), down 8.0% , were all gainers within the health services industry with Edwards Life ( EW) being today's featured health services industry leader.

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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