Covidien PLC (COV): 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.

Covidien ( COV) pushed the Health Services industry higher today making it today's featured health services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, Covidien rose $0.81 (1.2%) to $70.67 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,837,415 shares of Covidien exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,214,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $69.98-$70.78 after having opened the day at $69.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.86. Other companies within the Health Services industry that increased today were: TearLab ( TEAR), up 13.4%, Staar Surgical ( STAA), up 9.4%, EnteroMedics ( ETRM), up 9.0% and Navidea Biopharmaceuticals ( NAVB), up 8.4%.

Covidien plc develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings worldwide. Covidien has a market cap of $31.5 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 2.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Covidien a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Covidien as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Spherix ( SPEX), down 6.8%, ERBA Diagnostics ( ERB), down 5.9%, Organovo Holdings ( ONVO), down 5.9% and Psychemedics Corporation ( PMD), down 5.6% , were all laggards within the health services industry with Express Scripts ( ESRX) 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).

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