WellPoint Inc (WLP): 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.

WellPoint ( WLP) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, WellPoint fell $1.01 (-1.1%) to $91.99 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,564,814 shares of WellPoint exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,145,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $90.86-$92.95 after having opened the day at $92.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $93.00. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: Cardica ( CRDC), down 7.6%, Select Medical Holdings Corporation ( SEM), down 7.4%, Nanosphere ( NSPH), down 6.0% and EnteroMedics ( ETRM), down 5.4%.

WellPoint, Inc., a health benefits company, through its subsidiaries, offers network-based managed care plans to large and small employer, individual, Medicaid, and senior markets in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Commercial, Consumer, and Other. WellPoint has a market cap of $27.2 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate WellPoint a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates WellPoint 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, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, AtriCure ( ATRC), up 16.4%, Uroplasty ( UPI), up 14.3%, Response Genetics ( RGDX), up 13.9% and BG Medicine ( BGMD), up 12.6% , were all gainers within the health services industry with Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG) 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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