3 Stocks Pushing The Health Care Sector Higher

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.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 11 points (0.1%) at 16,218 as of Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,600 issues advancing vs. 1,298 declining with 186 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits up 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include InterMune ( ITMN), up 159.0%, Grifols ( GRFS), up 3.0% and Boston Scientific ( BSX), up 2.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Humana ( HUM), down 1.9%, and UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), down 0.8%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector higher today. As of noon trading, Vertex Pharmaceuticals is up $1.73 (2.1%) to $85.68 on light volume. Thus far, 496,122 shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $83.57-$85.98 after having opened the day at $84.21 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $83.95.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated is engaged in discovering, developing, manufacturing, and commercializing small molecule drugs for patients with serious diseases. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $20.0 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 13.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 13 analysts who rate Vertex Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vertex Pharmaceuticals as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full Vertex Pharmaceuticals Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Eli Lilly and Company ( LLY) is up $0.56 (1.0%) to $58.59 on light volume. Thus far, 2.0 million shares of Eli Lilly and Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.93-$58.84 after having opened the day at $57.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.03.

Eli Lilly and Company discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells pharmaceutical products worldwide. Eli Lilly and Company has a market cap of $64.9 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 13.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate Eli Lilly and Company a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Eli Lilly and Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Eli Lilly and Company Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Actavis ( ACT) is up $3.07 (1.4%) to $225.44 on average volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Actavis exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $221.38-$225.90 after having opened the day at $222.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $222.37.

Actavis plc, an integrated specialty pharmaceutical company, develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes pharmaceutical products in the United States, Canada, and internationally. Actavis has a market cap of $38.0 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 32.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts who rate Actavis a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Actavis as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and generally higher debt management risk. Get the full Actavis Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

If you are interested in one of these 3 stocks, 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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