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NPS Pharmaceuticals ( NPSP) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, NPS Pharmaceuticals rose $0.68 (3.0%) to $23.70 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,436,740 shares of NPS Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,728,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $22.72-$24.02 after having opened the day at $22.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.02. Other companies within the Health Care sector 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 Escalon Medical Corporation ( ESMC), up 11.2%.

NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the development of therapeutic products in the United States. Its lead product is Gattex for the treatment of adult patients with short bowel syndrome (SBS) who are dependent on parenteral support. NPS Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 153.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate NPS Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates NPS Pharmaceuticals as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's earnings per share has not been good.

On the negative front, Pingtan Marine Enterprise ( PME), down 83.1%, Mast Therapeutics ( MSTX), down 44.1%, Sophiris Bio ( SPHS), down 17.0% and Biolase ( BIOL), down 14.0% , were all laggards within the health care sector with Baxter International ( BAX) 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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