Aetna Inc (AET): Today's Featured Health Care Winner

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 higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.8%. By the end of trading, Aetna rose $1.01 (1.5%) to $68.27 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,485,852 shares of Aetna exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,537,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $66.67-$68.74 after having opened the day at $67.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.26. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were: Pernix Therapeutics Holdings ( PTX), up 68.9%, Medical Action Industries ( MDCI), up 22.8%, Pain Therapeutics ( PTIE), up 21.4% and Star Scientific ( STSI), up 20.9%.

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 $24.6 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are down 1.9% 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 increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, Conatus Pharmaceuticals ( CNAT), down 12.9%, Stemline Therapeutics ( STML), down 12.1%, Pacific Biosciences of California ( PACB), down 11.5% and PDL BioPharma ( PDLI), down 11.0% , were all laggards within the health care sector with Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX) being today's health care sector laggard.

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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