Covidien PLC (COV): Today's Featured Health Services Laggard

Covidien ( COV) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Covidien fell $5.43 (-8.6%) to $57.41 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,352,326 shares of Covidien exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,893,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $57.16-$58.09 after having opened the day at $57.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $62.84. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: Pingtan Marine Enterprise ( PME), down 61.1%, Stereotaxis ( STXS), down 11.0%, Healthways ( HWAY), down 6.7% and Hooper Holmes ( HH), down 5.6%.

Covidien plc develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings worldwide. Covidien has a market cap of $29.7 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Covidien a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Covidien as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, Spherix ( SPEX), up 19.3%, SunLink Health Systems ( SSY), up 9.6%, IsoRay ( ISR), up 8.5% and Diversicare Healthcare Services ( DVCR), up 8.0% , were all gainers within the health services industry with Baxter International ( BAX) 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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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