Becton Dickinson & Co (BDX): 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.

Becton Dickinson ( BDX) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Becton Dickinson fell $1.03 (-1.0%) to $99.89 on average volume. Throughout the day, 781,666 shares of Becton Dickinson exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 806,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $99.53-$100.76 after having opened the day at $100.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $100.92. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: Nektar Therapeutics ( NKTR), down 23.9%, Cellular Dynamics International ( ICEL), down 10.7%, TG Therapeutics ( TGTX), down 7.6% and DexCom ( DXCM), down 6.7%.

Becton, Dickinson and Company, a medical technology company, develops, manufactures, and sells medical devices, instrument systems, and reagents worldwide. The company's BD Medical segment produces medical devices that are used in various healthcare settings. Becton Dickinson has a market cap of $19.6 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 29.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Becton Dickinson a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Becton Dickinson as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Pingtan Marine Enterprise ( PME), up 59.7%, Cardium Therapeutics ( CXM), up 27.8%, Zalicus ( ZLCS), up 26.8% and China Cord Blood ( CO), up 20.2% , were all gainers within the health care sector with Actavis ( ACT) 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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