Aetna Inc (AET): 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.

Aetna ( AET) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.1%. By the end of trading, Aetna fell $0.87 (-1.3%) to $68.06 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,477,511 shares of Aetna exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,546,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $67.89-$69.82 after having opened the day at $68.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.93. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: Progenics Pharmaceuticals ( PGNX), down 27.4%, TearLab Corpoartion ( TEAR), down 14.1%, BG Medicine ( BGMD), down 11.5% and Idenix Pharmaceuticals ( IDIX), down 10.4%.

Aetna Inc. operates as a diversified health care benefits company in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance, and Large Case Pensions. Aetna has a market cap of $25.3 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Aetna a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aetna as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, Horizon Pharma ( HZNP), up 18.2%, Medivation ( MDVN), up 11.2%, Organovo Holdings ( ONVO), up 10.2% and RadNet ( RDNT), up 9.9% , were all gainers within the health care sector with Illumina ( ILMN) 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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