HCA Holdings Inc (HCA): Today's Featured Health Care Winner

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HCA Holdings ( HCA) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, HCA Holdings rose $1.06 (2.7%) to $39.74 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,830,048 shares of HCA Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,853,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $38.68-$39.90 after having opened the day at $38.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.68. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: Senesco Technologies ( SNTI), up 56.1%, Gentium SpA ( GENT), up 49.7%, GW Pharmaceuticals PLC ADR ( GWPH), up 24.7% and EnteroMedics ( ETRM), up 19.6%.

HCA Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides health care services in the United States. HCA Holdings has a market cap of $17.3 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 28.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate HCA Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HCA Holdings as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Mast Therapeutics ( MSTX), down 37.2%, IntelliPharmaCeutics International ( IPCI), down 20.4%, Pernix Therapeutics Holdings ( PTX), down 16.9% and Abaxis ( ABAX), down 16.1% , were all laggards within the health care sector with Theravance ( THRX) 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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