The 15 Most-Watched Health-Care Provider Stocks

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People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.

With this data we have come up with a new metric, watch interest, to inform investors what stocks their peers keep tabs on in each industry. In the health-care provider industry, watch interest is the percentage of people keeping an eye on health-care provider stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. By looking at what stocks people are most interested in in an industry, you can get ahead of the curve by finding hot stocks that you might have otherwise overlooked.

The most-watched health-care provider stock is ...
Looking at the aggregate data, we see that UnitedHealth Group (NYS: UNH) is above the rest in terms of watch interest, and for good reason. As CAPS player tiomiguel wrote in July:

Good recent ROE; low debt; excellent free cash flow; steady sales/EPS growth over 1-, 3-, and 5-year periods; low P/S, P/B, and P/E; huge network of health-care providers; few competitors on its scale

Here are the 15 most-watched companies in the industry, along with their watch interest and the stock's CAPS rating to show the sentiment of our investing community.

 

Company

Market Cap (in millions)

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Watch Interest

1

UnitedHealth Group 

$48,502

*****

26.6%

2

Medco Health Solutions (NYS: MHS)

$21,579

****

23.5%

3

Laboratory Corp. of America (NYS: LH)

$8,666

*****

11.1%

4

Express Scripts (NAS: ESRX)

$24,303

****

6.1%

5

McKesson (NYS: MCK)

$18,453

*****

4.8%

6

Quest Diagnostics (NYS: DGX)

$7,898

****

1.7%

7

WellPoint (NYS: WLP)

$22,455

****

1.5%

8

Sunrise Senior Living (NYS: SRZ)

$444

**

1.4%

9

Amedisys (NAS: AMED)

$592

***

1.2%

10

Almost Family

$182

*****

1.0%

11

Tenet Healthcare (NYS: THC)

$2,330

***

1.0%

12

Continucare (NYS: CNU)

$376

****

0.8%

13

Cardinal Health (NYS: CAH)

$14,129

****

0.6%

14

AmerisourceBergen (NYS: ABC)

$9,934

****

0.6%

15

Humana (NYS: HUM)

$11,693

***

0.5%

Source: Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.

Whether you're keeping an eye on industry stalwarts like UnitedHealth or are watching an up-and-comer like Continucare, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Click here to start now.

At the time this article was published Dan Dzombak'smusings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account:@DanDzombak.The Motley Fool owns shares of Almost Family, MedcoHealth Solutions, and UnitedHealth Group.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of UnitedHealth Group, McKesson, Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings, WellPoint, Quest Diagnostics, and MedcoHealth Solutions.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended creating a diagonal call position in UnitedHealth Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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