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United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL): Today's Featured Transportation Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

United Continental Holdings (UAL) pushed the Transportation industry lower today making it today's featured Transportation laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, United Continental Holdings fell 27 cents (-1.3%) to $19.91 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3.4 million shares of United Continental Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.9 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $19.88-$20.32 after having opened the day at $20.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.18. Other companies within the Transportation industry that declined today were: FreeSeas (FREE), down 5.7%, DS Torm (TRMD), down 5.5%, Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK), down 5.3%, and Paragon Shipping (PRGN), down 4.5%.

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United Continental Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the provision of passenger and cargo air transportation services. United Continental Holdings has a market cap of $6.81 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.5, below the average transportation industry P/E ratio of 23 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate United Continental Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates United Continental Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, poor profit margins and unimpressive growth in net income.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the transportation industry could consider iShares Dow Jones Transportation (IYT) while those bearish on the transportation industry could consider ProShares UltraShort Industrials (SIJ).

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