3 Stocks Pushing The Drugs Industry 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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 72 points (-0.4%) at 17,208 as of Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 456 issues advancing vs. 2,548 declining with 145 unchanged.

The Drugs industry currently sits down 2.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include Intercept Pharmaceuticals ( ICPT), down 5.0%, Incyte ( INCY), down 4.3%, Illumina ( ILMN), down 2.5%, Grifols ( GRFS), down 2.2% and Alexion Pharmaceuticals ( ALXN), down 2.0%.

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

3. Perrigo ( PRGO) is one of the companies pushing the Drugs industry higher today. As of noon trading, Perrigo is up $1.49 (1.0%) to $148.76 on average volume. Thus far, 477,328 shares of Perrigo exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $147.30-$148.89 after having opened the day at $147.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $147.27.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Perrigo Company plc, through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and distributes over-the-counter (OTC) and generic prescription (Rx) pharmaceuticals, nutritional products, and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). Perrigo has a market cap of $19.6 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are down 4.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 12 analysts who rate Perrigo a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Perrigo as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Perrigo Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

2. As of noon trading, Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX) is up $1.12 (1.1%) to $104.87 on average volume. Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $102.71-$105.32 after having opened the day at $103.79 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $103.75.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated is engaged in discovering, developing, manufacturing, and commercializing small molecule drugs for patients with serious diseases in specialty markets. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $23.2 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 39.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 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 and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, unimpressive growth in net income and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Vertex Pharmaceuticals Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

1. As of noon trading, Merck ( MRK) is up $0.34 (0.6%) to $60.82 on average volume. Thus far, 4.0 million shares of Merck exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $60.26-$60.98 after having opened the day at $60.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.49.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products worldwide. Merck has a market cap of $174.0 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 20.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Merck a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Merck as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Merck Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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 drugs industry could consider SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF ( XPH) while those bearish on the drugs industry could consider ProShares UltraShort Nasdaq Biotech ( BIS).

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