Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX): Today's Featured Health Care Laggard

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Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.8%. By the end of trading, Vertex Pharmaceuticals fell $1.74 (-2.2%) to $77.41 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,810,502 shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,724,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $75.89-$78.73 after having opened the day at $78.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $79.15. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: 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%.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated engages in discovering, developing, manufacturing, and commercializing small molecule drugs for patients with serious diseases. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $18.1 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 6.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Vertex Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vertex Pharmaceuticals as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

On the positive front, 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% , were all gainers within the health care sector with Aetna ( AET) 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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