Baxter International Inc. (BAX): Today's Featured Health Care 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.

Baxter International ( BAX) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Baxter International fell $1.14 (-1.6%) to $71.19 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,873,467 shares of Baxter International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,874,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $71.04-$72.09 after having opened the day at $72.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.33. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: 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%.

Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets products for people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. Baxter International has a market cap of $39.9 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 8.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Baxter International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Baxter International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, 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% , were all gainers within the health care sector with NPS Pharmaceuticals ( NPSP) being today's featured health care sector leader.

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).

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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