Abbott Laboratories (ABT): Today's Featured Health Services 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.

Abbott Laboratories ( ABT) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.3%. By the end of trading, Abbott Laboratories fell $0.40 (-1.0%) to $38.03 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4,190,855 shares of Abbott Laboratories exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,662,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $37.89-$38.44 after having opened the day at $38.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.43. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: Ironwood Pharmaceuticals ( IRWD), down 11.1%, TearLab ( TEAR), down 11.0%, Organovo Holdings ( ONVO), down 9.2% and Merit Medical Systems ( MMSI), down 8.9%.

Abbott Laboratories is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of health care products worldwide. Abbott Laboratories has a market cap of $59.6 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 0.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Abbott Laboratories a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Abbott Laboratories as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that net income has been generally deteriorating over time.

On the positive front, Healthways ( HWAY), up 12.9%, Bovie Medical ( BVX), up 7.4%, Community Health Systems ( CYH), up 6.6% and LifePoint Hospitals ( LPNT), up 6.3% , were all gainers within the health services industry with Tenet Healthcare ( THC) being today's featured health services industry leader.

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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