DGX, HUM, HCA, MDT And ESRX, 5 Health Services Stocks Pushing The Industry Lower

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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 81 points (-0.5%) at 15,762 as of Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,157 issues advancing vs. 1,771 declining with 147 unchanged.

The Health Services industry currently sits down 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include Community Health Systems ( CYH), down 2.9%, Mindray Medical International Limited ADR r ( MR), down 2.6%, Catamaran ( CTRX), down 1.4%, Varian Medical Systems ( VAR), down 1.3% and Aetna ( AET), down 0.8%. A company within the industry that increased today was Boston Scientific ( BSX), up 1.3%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the industry lower today:

5. Quest Diagnostics ( DGX) is one of the companies pushing the Health Services industry lower today. As of noon trading, Quest Diagnostics is down $0.82 (-1.5%) to $54.38 on heavy volume. Thus far, 1.8 million shares of Quest Diagnostics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $54.15-$55.16 after having opened the day at $55.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.20.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing information services in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two businesses, Diagnostic Information Services and Diagnostic Solutions. Quest Diagnostics has a market cap of $8.5 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Quest Diagnostics a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Quest Diagnostics as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Quest Diagnostics Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

4. As of noon trading, Humana ( HUM) is down $1.45 (-1.4%) to $100.48 on average volume. Thus far, 486,540 shares of Humana exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $100.23-$102.40 after having opened the day at $101.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $101.93.

Humana Inc., a health care company, offers a range of insurance products, and health and wellness services that incorporate an integrated approach to lifelong well-being. The company operates in three segments: Retail, Employer Group, and Healthcare Services. Humana has a market cap of $16.2 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 51.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Humana a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

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

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

3. As of noon trading, HCA Holdings ( HCA) is down $1.13 (-2.4%) to $45.60 on light volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of HCA Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $45.19-$46.86 after having opened the day at $46.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.73.

HCA Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides health care services in the United States. HCA Holdings has a market cap of $21.2 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 54.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate HCA Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HCA Holdings as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share and poor profit margins. Get the full HCA Holdings Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

2. As of noon trading, Medtronic ( MDT) is down $0.36 (-0.6%) to $55.90 on light volume. Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Medtronic exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $55.74-$56.18 after having opened the day at $56.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.26.

Medtronic, Inc. manufactures and sells device-based medical therapies worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Cardiac and Vascular Group, and Restorative Therapies Group. Medtronic has a market cap of $57.3 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 39.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Medtronic a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Medtronic as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income and notable return on equity. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Medtronic Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

1. As of noon trading, Express Scripts ( ESRX) is down $0.53 (-0.8%) to $66.71 on light volume. Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Express Scripts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $66.66-$67.35 after having opened the day at $67.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.24.

Express Scripts Holding Company provides a range of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services primarily in the United States and Canada. It offers healthcare management and administration services on behalf of its clients. Express Scripts has a market cap of $54.6 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 25.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Express Scripts a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Express Scripts as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Express Scripts Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

If you are interested in one of these 4 stocks, 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).
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