Novartis AG (NVS): Today's Featured Drugs 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.

Novartis ( NVS) pushed the Drugs industry lower today making it today's featured Drugs laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Novartis fell $0.84 (-1.1%) to $73.45 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,232,363 shares of Novartis exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,428,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $73.16-$73.64 after having opened the day at $73.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $74.29. Other companies within the Drugs industry that declined today were: Rexahn Pharmaceuticals ( RNN), down 16.7%, Prana Biotechnology ( PRAN), down 12.5%, Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners ( CPRX), down 12.4% and Amicus Therapeutics ( FOLD), down 6.8%.

Novartis AG engages in the research, development, manufacture, and marketing of a range of healthcare products worldwide. Novartis has a market cap of $183.8 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 17.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Novartis a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Novartis as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Astex Pharmaceuticals ( ASTX), up 24.4%, GW Pharmaceuticals PLC ADR ( GWPH), up 17.6%, Idera Pharmaceuticals ( IDRA), up 13.1% and XOMA ( XOMA), up 10.7% , were all gainers within the drugs industry with Gilead ( GILD) being today's featured drugs industry leader.

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).

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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