Express Scripts (ESRX): Today's Featured Health Services 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.

Express Scripts ( ESRX) pushed the Health Services industry higher today making it today's featured health services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Express Scripts rose $0.75 (1.0%) to $75.31 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6,965,508 shares of Express Scripts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,633,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $74.51-$75.74 after having opened the day at $74.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $74.56. Other companies within the Health Services industry that increased today were: Iridex Corporation ( IRIX), up 9.2%, LDR ( LDRH), up 8.4%, Tandem Diabetes Care ( TNDM), up 5.8% and American Caresource Holdings ( ANCI), up 5.2%.

Express Scripts Holding Company provides a range of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services primarily in the United States and Canada. It offers healthcare management and administration services on behalf of its clients. Express Scripts has a market cap of $57.4 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 5.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Express Scripts a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Express Scripts as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, Endologix ( ELGX), down 24.4%, Fonar Corporation ( FONR), down 8.2%, ZELTIQ Aesthetics ( ZLTQ), down 7.6% and Foundation Medicine ( FMI), down 6.8% , were all laggards within the health services industry with St Jude Medical ( STJ) being today's health services industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the health services industry could consider Health Care Select Sector SPDR ( XLV) while those bearish on the health services industry could consider ProShares Ultra Short Health Care ( RXD).

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

More from Markets

Oil Slumps, Gas Spikes Ahead of Holiday Weekend; Assessing the Chipmakers--ICYMI

Oil Slumps, Gas Spikes Ahead of Holiday Weekend; Assessing the Chipmakers--ICYMI

Week Ahead: Wall Street Looks to Jobs Report as North Korea Meeting Less Certain

Week Ahead: Wall Street Looks to Jobs Report as North Korea Meeting Less Certain

Dow and S&P 500 Decline, Energy Shares Fall as U.S. Crude Oil Slides 4%

Dow and S&P 500 Decline, Energy Shares Fall as U.S. Crude Oil Slides 4%

Replay: Jim Cramer on the Markets, 10-Year Yield, Oil Prices and Foot Locker

Replay: Jim Cramer on the Markets, 10-Year Yield, Oil Prices and Foot Locker

Video: You Could Live in a Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis Home

Video: You Could Live in a Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis Home