Covidien PLC (COV): Today's Featured Health Services 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.

Covidien ( COV) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Covidien fell $0.96 (-1.6%) to $60.44 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,167,391 shares of Covidien exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,480,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $60.36-$61.20 after having opened the day at $60.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.40. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: ERBA Diagnostics ( ERB), down 9.2%, Nanosphere ( NSPH), down 8.5%, RTI Surgical ( RTIX), down 6.3% and Healthways ( HWAY), down 4.5%.

Covidien plc develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings worldwide. Covidien has a market cap of $28.5 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 7.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Covidien a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Covidien 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 increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Lakeland Industries ( LAKE), up 34.9%, Rockwell Medical ( RMTI), up 22.8%, EnteroMedics ( ETRM), up 9.4% and CardioNet ( BEAT), up 7.7% , were all gainers within the health services industry with Aetna ( AET) being today's featured health services industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the health services industry could consider Health Care Select Sector SPDR ( XLV) while those bearish on the health services industry 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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