Shire PLC (SHPG): Today's Featured Drugs 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.

Shire ( SHPG) pushed the Drugs industry higher today making it today's featured drugs winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Shire rose $2.16 (1.9%) to $112.85 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 972,938 shares of Shire exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 377,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $111.20-$116.00 after having opened the day at $111.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $110.69. Other companies within the Drugs industry that increased today were: Pain Therapeutics ( PTIE), up 35.8%, Durect Corporation ( DRRX), up 17.1%, GW Pharmaceuticals PLC ADR ( GWPH), up 12.0% and Prana Biotechnology ( PRAN), up 10.7%.

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 $20.9 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 20.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 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 shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Mast Therapeutics ( MSTX), down 44.1%, Sophiris Bio ( SPHS), down 17.0%, MannKind Corporation ( MNKD), down 13.1% and Skystar Bio-Pharmaceutical Company ( SKBI), down 9.8% , were all laggards within the drugs industry with Pfizer ( PFE) being today's drugs industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the drugs industry could consider SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF ( XPH) while those bearish on the drugs industry could consider ProShares UltraShort Nasdaq Biotech ( BIS).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.