AstraZeneca PLC (AZN): 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.

AstraZeneca ( AZN) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, AstraZeneca fell $0.90 (-1.4%) to $62.60 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,246,027 shares of AstraZeneca exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,245,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $61.75-$62.65 after having opened the day at $62.14 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.50. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: Oramed Pharmaceuticals ( ORMP), down 13.8%, DARA Biosciences ( DARA), down 13.8%, GW Pharmaceuticals ( GWPH), down 9.4% and Pernix Therapeutics Holdings ( PTX), down 9.3%.

AstraZeneca PLC engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of prescription medicines for cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neuroscience, infection, oncology, and respiratory and inflammation diseases worldwide. AstraZeneca has a market cap of $79.2 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 7.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate AstraZeneca a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

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

On the positive front, Prima Biomed ( PBMD), up 45.3%, Misonix ( MSON), up 16.7%, Repros Therapeutics ( RPRX), up 15.8% and Biolase ( BIOL), up 13.9% , were all gainers within the health care sector with Alexion Pharmaceuticals ( ALXN) 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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