Baxter International Inc. (BAX): Today's Featured Health Care Winner

Baxter International ( BAX) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Baxter International rose $1.19 (1.7%) to $71.07 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,603,055 shares of Baxter International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,477,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $70.27-$71.24 after having opened the day at $70.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.88. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: Biostar Pharmaceuticals ( BSPM), up 20.1%, Alcobra ( ADHD), up 15.5%, Epizyme ( EPZM), up 14.3% and Inovio Pharmaceuticals ( INO), up 11.8%.

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 $37.6 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 4.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 14 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 negative front, Biota Pharmaceuticals ( BOTA), down 70.1%, Mast Therapeutics ( MSTX), down 37.2%, Redhill Biopharma ( RDHL), down 20.0% and Natus Medical ( BABY), down 13.2% , were all laggards within the health care sector with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ( REGN) being today's health care sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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).

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