WellCare Health Plans Inc. (WCG): Today's Featured Health Care Winner

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.

WellCare Health Plans ( WCG) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, WellCare Health Plans rose $1.34 (2.0%) to $67.06 on average volume. Throughout the day, 432,297 shares of WellCare Health Plans exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 563,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $64.47-$67.29 after having opened the day at $65.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.72. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: NPS Pharmaceuticals ( NPSP), up 25.4%, Amedisys ( AMED), up 22.4%, Air Methods ( AIRM), up 16.9% and Geron Corporation ( GERN), up 16.4%.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. provides managed care services for government-sponsored health care programs in the United States. WellCare Health Plans has a market cap of $2.8 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 34.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate WellCare Health Plans a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates WellCare Health Plans as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Pingtan Marine Enterprise ( PME), down 82.2%, Mast Therapeutics ( MSTX), down 41.8%, Tonix Pharmaceuticals ( TNXP), down 30.2% and Dendreon ( DNDN), down 26.1% , were all laggards within the health care sector with Biogen Idec ( BIIB) 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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