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Alaska Air Group Inc. (ALK): 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

Alaska Air Group ( ALK) pushed the Transportation industry lower today making it today's featured Transportation laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Alaska Air Group fell $0.64 (-1.1%) to $60.24 on average volume. Throughout the day, 731,465 shares of Alaska Air Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 769,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $60.11-$62.13 after having opened the day at $61.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.88. Other companies within the Transportation industry that declined today were: American Railcar Industries ( ARII), down 12.8%, Newlead Holdings ( NEWL), down 7.5%, Echo Global Logistics ( ECHO), down 6.2% and TOP Ships ( TOPS), down 5.9%.

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Alaska Air Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo. Alaska Air Group has a market cap of $4.3 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 41.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alaska Air Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Paragon Shipping ( PRGN), down 12.4%, Pacer International ( PACR), down 7.4%, Gol Intelligent Airlines ( GOL), down 4.5% and Sino-Global Shipping America ( SINO), down 4.0% , were all gainers within the transportation industry with United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Class B ( UPS) being today's featured transportation industry leader.

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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