Novartis AG (NVS): 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.

Novartis ( NVS) pushed the Drugs industry higher today making it today's featured drugs winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, Novartis rose $0.99 (1.3%) to $75.92 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,029,842 shares of Novartis exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,429,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $75.16-$76.10 after having opened the day at $75.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $74.93. Other companies within the Drugs industry that increased today were: GW Pharmaceuticals PLC ADR ( GWPH), up 82.6%, Genvec ( GNVC), up 48.6%, Celsion Corporation ( CLSN), up 15.2% and Inovio Pharmaceuticals ( INO), up 15.2%.

Novartis AG engages in the research, development, manufacture, and marketing of a range of healthcare products worldwide. Novartis has a market cap of $182.6 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 18.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 negative front, ImmuCell Corporation ( ICCC), down 10.3%, MannKind Corporation ( MNKD), down 7.0%, Clovis Oncology ( CLVS), down 5.8% and Lexicon Pharmaceuticals ( LXRX), down 5.0% , were all laggards within the drugs industry with Actavis ( ACT) 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.

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