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The Health Care sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.4%. Laggards within the Health Care sector included Escalon Medical ( ESMC), down 2.2%, Reliv' International ( RELV), down 5.7%, SunLink Health Systems ( SSY), down 3.6%, Huttig Building Products ( HBP), down 2.7% and Vision-Sciences ( VSCI), down 3.9%.

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

Baxter International ( BAX) is one of the companies that pushed the Health Care sector lower today. Baxter International was down $1.25 (1.8%) to $69.72 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,287,841 shares of Baxter International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,608,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $69.33-$70.90 after having opened the day at $70.72 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $70.97.

Baxter International Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets products for people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney diseases, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. Baxter International has a market cap of $38.7 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are down 3.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Baxter International a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Baxter International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on BAX go as follows:

  • BAX's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • BAXTER INTERNATIONAL INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, BAXTER INTERNATIONAL INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.55 versus $3.50 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.18 versus $3.55).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Health Care Equipment & Supplies industry. The net income increased by 192.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $326.00 million to $953.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $1,143.00 million or 5.54% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BAXTER INTERNATIONAL INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -47.09%.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.

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

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At the close, Vision-Sciences ( VSCI) was down $0.02 (3.9%) to $0.49 on light volume. Throughout the day, 20,966 shares of Vision-Sciences exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 44,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.46-$0.49 after having opened the day at $0.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.51.

Vision-Sciences, Inc., through its subsidiaries, designs, develops, manufactures, and markets endoscopy products. It operates through Medical and Industrial segments. Vision-Sciences has a market cap of $23.9 million and is part of the health services industry. Shares are down 29.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Vision-Sciences as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on VSCI go as follows:

  • VSCI's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 60.63%, which is also worse than the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to -$1.85 million or 41.09% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 41.09%, VISION-SCIENCES INC is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -47.09%.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Health Care Equipment & Supplies industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has remained constant at -$1.56 million when compared to the same quarter one year ago.
  • VISION-SCIENCES INC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VISION-SCIENCES INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.16 versus -$0.22 in the prior year.
  • 41.69% is the gross profit margin for VISION-SCIENCES INC which we consider to be strong. 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 -31.74% is in-line with the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Vision-Sciences Ratings Report

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Reliv' International ( RELV) was another company that pushed the Health Care sector lower today. Reliv' International was down $0.07 (5.7%) to $1.16 on average volume. Throughout the day, 21,240 shares of Reliv' International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.16-$1.23 after having opened the day at $1.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.23.

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 $15.3 million and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 5.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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.

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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. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, RELV's net profit margin of 1.15% significantly 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 10.2%. 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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