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

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

United Continental Holdings ( UAL) pushed the Transportation industry lower today making it today's featured Transportation laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, United Continental Holdings fell $1.09 (-2.3%) to $46.66 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,487,514 shares of United Continental Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,548,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $46.41-$49.18 after having opened the day at $47.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.75. Other companies within the Transportation industry that declined today were: Newlead Holdings ( NEWL), down 10.2%, Paragon Shipping ( PRGN), down 7.0%, TOP Ships ( TOPS), down 6.0% and FreeSeas ( FREE), down 6.0%.

United Continental Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides passenger and cargo transportation services. It transports people and cargo through its mainline operations, which use jet aircraft with 118 seats, and its regional operations. United Continental Holdings has a market cap of $17.8 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 26.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate United Continental Holdings a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 5 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 impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, P.A.M. Transportation ( PTSI), up 9.7%, Covenant Transportation Group ( CVTI), up 6.6%, Air Transport Services Group ( ATSG), up 6.0% and GasLog ( GLOG), up 5.4% , were all gainers within the transportation industry with Southwest Airlines ( LUV) 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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