Laboratory Corporation Of America Holdings (LH): Today's Featured Health Care Laggard

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Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings ( LH) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings fell $1.75 (-1.7%) to $100.10 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1,555,685 shares of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 660,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $99.87-$101.61 after having opened the day at $101.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $101.85. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: Mast Therapeutics ( MSTX), down 38.9%, Aastrom Biosciences ( ASTM), down 11.5%, Pernix Therapeutics Holdings ( PTX), down 9.8% and Orexigen Therapeutics ( OREX), down 9.5%.

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings operates as an independent clinical laboratory company worldwide. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings has a market cap of $8.9 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year and good cash flow from operations. 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, Biostar Pharmaceuticals ( BSPM), up 38.1%, Vision-Sciences Inc (DE ( VSCI), up 25.2%, XOMA ( XOMA), up 22.2% and Dynatronics Corporation ( DYNT), up 19.8% , were all gainers within the health care sector with Humana ( HUM) 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).

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