4 Stocks Improving Performance Of The Health Care Sector

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Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 10 points (-0.1%) at 15,618 as of Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,354 issues advancing vs. 1,554 declining with 118 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Biogen Idec ( BIIB), up 2.8%, Smith & Nephew ( SNN), up 2.6%, Grifols ( GRFS), up 1.3% and Pfizer ( PFE), up 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Sirona Dental Systems ( SIRO), down 5.3%, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ( REGN), down 2.3%, Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX), down 2.0%, Celgene Corporation ( CELG), down 2.0% and Baxter International ( BAX), down 1.9%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

4. Shire ( SHPG) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector higher today. As of noon trading, Shire is up $0.96 (0.9%) to $111.95 on light volume. Thus far, 112,814 shares of Shire exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 482,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $111.17-$112.39 after having opened the day at $111.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $110.99.

Shire plc, a specialty biopharmaceutical company, engages in the research and development, manufacture, sale, and distribution of pharmaceutical products. It operates in three segments: Specialty Pharmaceuticals (SP), Human Genetic Therapies (HGT), and Regenerative Medicine (RM). Shire has a market cap of $20.2 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 18.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Shire a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Shire as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in stock price during the past year, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Shire Ratings Report now.

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