5 Health Care Stocks Pushing The Sector Higher

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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 165 points (1.1%) at 15,235 as of Monday, June 17, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,604 issues advancing vs. 474 declining with 57 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits up 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is up 1.0%. Top gainers within the sector include Illumina ( ILMN), up 4.1%, Zimmer Holdings ( ZMH), up 3.0%, Amgen ( AMGN), up 2.4%, Becton Dickinson ( BDX), up 2.0% and Stryker Corporation ( SYK), up 1.4%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX), down 2.30, Biogen Idec ( BIIB), down 0.95, Celgene Corporation ( CELG), down 0.75, Gilead ( GILD), down 0.82 and Merck ( MRK), down 0.54.

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

5. Sanofi ( SNY) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector higher today. As of noon trading, Sanofi is up $1.30 (2.42) to $55.04 on average volume Thus far, 866,650 shares of Sanofi exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $54.96-$55.47 after having opened the day at $55.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.74.

Sanofi researches, develops, manufactures, and markets healthcare products worldwide. The company operates through Pharmaceuticals, Human Vaccines, and Animal Health segments. Sanofi has a market cap of $144.8 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Sanofi a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sanofi as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Sanofi Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

4. As of noon trading, Aetna ( AET) is up $1.32 (2.18) to $61.85 on light volume Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Aetna exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $60.86-$61.89 after having opened the day at $61.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.53.

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 $20.1 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 30.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 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.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

3. As of noon trading, Medtronic ( MDT) is up $0.81 (1.53) to $53.73 on average volume Thus far, 2.7 million shares of Medtronic exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $53.10-$53.78 after having opened the day at $53.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.92.

Medtronic, Inc. manufactures and sells device-based medical therapies worldwide. Medtronic has a market cap of $53.5 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 29.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Medtronic a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Medtronic as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Medtronic Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

2. As of noon trading, Express Scripts ( ESRX) is up $1.04 (1.68) to $62.98 on light volume Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Express Scripts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $62.18-$63.17 after having opened the day at $62.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.94.

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 $50.7 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 36.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Express Scripts a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 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. Get the full Express Scripts Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

1. As of noon trading, UnitedHealth Group ( UNH) is up $1.30 (2.04) to $65.10 on average volume Thus far, 2.4 million shares of UnitedHealth Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $64.10-$65.12 after having opened the day at $64.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.80.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $65.4 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate UnitedHealth Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

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

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, 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).

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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