Abbott Laboratories (ABT): 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

Abbott Laboratories ( ABT) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, Abbott Laboratories fell $0.39 (-1.1%) to $36.44 on light volume. Throughout the day, 5,255,711 shares of Abbott Laboratories exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,156,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $36.42-$37.20 after having opened the day at $37.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.83. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: GenMark Diagnostics ( GNMK), down 7.1%, Nanosphere ( NSPH), down 6.4%, Mela ( MELA), down 5.8% and Hansen Medical ( HNSN), down 5.4%.
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Abbott Laboratories engages in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of health care products worldwide. Abbott Laboratories has a market cap of $58.4 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Abbott Laboratories a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Abbott Laboratories as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

On the positive front, USMD Holdings ( USMD), down 21.4%, Escalon Medical Corporation ( ESMC), down 13.8%, Health Management Associates ( HMA), down 11.3% and IsoRay ( ISR), down 9.7% , were all gainers within the health services industry with St Jude Medical ( STJ) 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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