Aetna Inc (AET): Today's Featured Health Services Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Aetna ( AET) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Aetna fell $0.88 (-1.3%) to $64.70 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,365,981 shares of Aetna exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,978,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $64.26-$65.54 after having opened the day at $65.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.58. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: Pingtan Marine Enterprise ( PME), down 7.3%, IsoRay ( ISR), down 4.7%, USMD Holdings ( USMD), down 4.3% and SunLink Health Systems ( SSY), down 4.0%.

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 $21.4 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 41.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 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.

On the positive front, EnteroMedics ( ETRM), up 19.6%, Spherix ( SPEX), up 8.7%, Edap TMS ( EDAP), up 7.7% and Electromed ( ELMD), up 7.0% , were all gainers within the health services industry with Express Scripts ( ESRX) 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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