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As the markets continue their volatile struggle to stay afloat health care; more specifically, the health care plans industry, continues to thrive. Twelve of the 17 stocks that comprise the health care plans industry are currently trading within an up-trending price pattern and may continue to rise.

These twelve stocks are as follows, sorted by one year price performance.

1. HealthSpring, Inc. (HS-OLD) has a $2.79 billion market cap with current analyst recommendations of 4 buy, 0 moderate buy, 9 hold, 0 moderate sell, 0 sell and an average target price of $43.90. The company had a $204.7 million annual net profit last year with a 5.42% profit margin. Health Spring, Inc. currently holds a one year stock performance of 143.18%; a YTD performance of 55.18% and a one quarter performance of 10.73%.

2. Amerigroup Corporation (AGP) has a $3.24 billion market cap with current analyst recommendations of 5 buy, 2 moderate buy, 9 hold, 0 moderate sell, 0 sell and an average target price of $70.92. The company had a $301.7 million annual net profit last year with a 5.05% profit margin. Amerigroup Corp. currently holds a one year stock performance of 81.25%; a YTD performance of 48.82% and a one quarter performance of 10.82%.

3. WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (WCG) has a $2.06 billion market cap with current analyst recommendations of 1 buy, 1 moderate buy, 8 hold, 0 moderate sell, 0 sell and an average target price of $49.43. The company had an annual -$38.5 million net loss last year with a -0.69% profit margin. WellCare Health Plans, Inc. currently holds a one year stock performance of 72.84%; a YTD performance of 60.49% and a one quarter performance of 29.71%.

4. Coventry health care, Inc. (CVH) has a $5.04 billion market cap with current analyst recommendations of 8 buy, 0 moderate buy, 11 hold, 0 moderate sell, 0 sell and an average target price of $36.57. The company had a $451.5 million annual net profit last year with a 3.83% profit margin. Coventry health care, Inc. currently holds a one year stock performance of 68.92%; a YTD performance of 28.86% and a one quarter performance of 9.81%.

5. Unitedhealth Group, Inc. (UNH) has a $53.53 billion market cap with current analyst recommendations of 17 buy, 2 moderate buy, 5 hold, 0 moderate sell, 0 sell and an average target price of $56.71. The company had a $4.8 billion annual net profit last year with a 4.97% profit margin. Unitedhealth Group, Inc. currently holds a one year stock performance of 63.23%; a YTD performance of 37.67% and a one quarter performance of 13.72%.

6. Humana, Inc. (HUM) has a $13.17 billion market cap with current analyst recommendations of 16 buy, 2 moderate buy, 12 hold, 0 moderate sell, 0 sell and an average target price of $84.19. The company had a $1.2 billion annual net profit last year with a 3.34% profit margin. Humana, Inc. currently holds a one year stock performance of 63.07%; a YTD performance of 42.84% and a one quarter performance of 21.32%.

7. Aetna, Inc. (AET) has a $16.27 billion market cap with current analyst recommendations of 11 buy, 0 moderate buy, 10 hold, 0 moderate sell, 0 sell and an average target price of $46.94. The company had a $1.8 billion annual net profit last year with a 5.26% profit margin. Aetna, Inc. currently holds a one year stock performance of 50.54%; a YTD performance of 41.03% and a one quarter performance of 17.91%.

8. Wellpoint, Inc. (WLP) has a $28.03 billion market cap with current analyst recommendations of 15 buy, 1 moderate buy, 8 hold, 0 moderate sell, 0 sell and an average target price of $85.84. The company had a $2.9 billion annual net profit last year with a 5.01% profit margin. Wellpoint, Inc. currently holds a one year stock performance of 46.02%; a YTD performance of 35.21% and a one quarter performance of 12.66%.

9. Cigna Corporation (CI) has a $13.28 billion market cap with current analyst recommendations of 9 buy, 0 moderate buy, 11 hold, 1 moderate sell, 0 sell and an average target price of $51.59. The company had a $1.5 billion annual net profit last year with a 6.97% profit margin. Cigna Corp. currently holds a one year stock performance of 42.46%; a YTD performance of 34.02% and a one quarter performance of 12.67%.

10. Molina Healthcare, Inc. (MOH) has a $1.17 billion market cap with current analyst recommendations of 3 buy, 1 moderate buy, 8 hold, 0 moderate sell, 0 sell and an average target price of $27.59. The company had a $61.8 million annual net profit last year with a 1.46% profit margin. Molina Healthcare, Inc. currently holds a one year stock performance of 42.40%; a YTD performance of 37.80% and a one quarter performance of 1.23%.

11. Magellan Health Services, Inc. (MGLN) has a $1.62 billion market cap with current analyst recommendations of 4 buy, 2 moderate buy, 0 hold, 1 moderate sell, 0 sell and an average target price of $56.67. The company had a $147.4 million annual net profit last year with a 5.03% profit margin. Magellan Health Services, Inc. currently holds a one year stock performance of 28.62%; a YTD performance of 7.40% and a one quarter performance of 10.25%.

12. Express Scripts, Inc. (ESRX) has a $29.87 billion market cap with current analyst recommendations of 19 buy, 2 moderate buy, 7 hold, 0 moderate sell, 0 sell and an average target price of $65.05. The company had a $1.2 billion annual net profit with a 2.83% profit margin. Express Scripts, Inc. currently holds a one year stock performance of 7.10%; a YTD performance of 4.37% and a one quarter performance of 7.45%.

In comparison to the S&P's one year price performance of 16.9% these 12 stocks have remained strong with an average annual return of 59.14% and an average of nine analyst buy recommendations per stock. As the DOW, NASDAQ and S&P markets continue to slip I have to wonder, how long will these stocks continue to defy the markets?

Source: Health Care Plan Stocks Rise as Markets Fall