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The Health Care sector as a whole closed the day down 2.6% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.9%. Laggards within the Health Care sector included VirtualScopics ( VSCP), down 1.8%, Huttig Building Products ( HBP), down 4.2%, Reliv' International ( RELV), down 1.7%, Dynatronics ( DYNT), down 4.6% and American Shared Hospital Services ( AMS), down 5.9%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the sector lower today:

Stryker Corporation ( SYK) is one of the companies that pushed the Health Care sector lower today. Stryker Corporation was down $1.75 (1.9%) to $91.50 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,457,764 shares of Stryker Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,220,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $91.44-$93.56 after having opened the day at $93.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $93.25.

Stryker Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a medical technology company. The company operates in three segments: Reconstructive, MedSurg, and Neurotechnology and Spine. Stryker Corporation has a market cap of $35.6 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are down 1.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 11 analysts who rate Stryker Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Stryker Corporation 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, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on SYK go as follows:

  • SYK's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.46, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.47, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • STRYKER CORP's earnings per share declined by 40.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, STRYKER CORP reported lower earnings of $2.63 versus $3.39 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.75 versus $2.63).
  • The gross profit margin for STRYKER CORP is rather high; currently it is at 67.94%. Regardless of SYK's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SYK's net profit margin of 2.38% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Stryker Corporation Ratings Report

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At the close, Reliv' International ( RELV) was down $0.02 (1.7%) to $1.15 on light volume. Throughout the day, 6,255 shares of Reliv' International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 18,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.15-$1.17 after having opened the day at $1.17 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.17.

Reliv' International, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets nutritional supplements that promote basic nutrition, weight loss, athletic performance, digestive health, women's health, anti-aging, and healthy energy. Reliv' International has a market cap of $14.6 million and is part of the health services industry. Shares are unchanged year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Reliv' International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on RELV go as follows:

  • The gross profit margin for RELIV INTERNATIONAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 80.94%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 1.15% trails the industry average.
  • Although RELV's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.87 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • RELV, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 5.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 13.4%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • RELIV INTERNATIONAL INC's earnings per share declined by 50.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, RELIV INTERNATIONAL INC reported lower earnings of $0.06 versus $0.10 in the prior year.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Personal Products industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 43.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.29 million to $0.17 million.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Reliv' International Ratings Report

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VirtualScopics ( VSCP) was another company that pushed the Health Care sector lower today. VirtualScopics was down $0.06 (1.8%) to $3.29 on light volume. Throughout the day, 100 shares of VirtualScopics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $3.29-$3.29 after having opened the day at $3.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $3.35.

VirtualScopics, Inc. provides imaging solutions for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. VirtualScopics has a market cap of $10.0 million and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 5.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates VirtualScopics a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates VirtualScopics as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on VSCP go as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Life Sciences Tools & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 27.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.75 million to -$0.96 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Life Sciences Tools & Services industry and the overall market, VIRTUALSCOPICS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for VIRTUALSCOPICS INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 33.86%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -34.87% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.42 million or 200.00% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • In its most recent trading session, VSCP has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, we do not believe this stock offers ample reward opportunity to compensate for the risks, despite the fact that it rose over the past year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: VirtualScopics Ratings Report

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