Southwest Airlines Co (LUV): Today's Featured Services Loser

Southwest Airlines ( LUV) pushed the Services sector lower today making it today's featured Services loser. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.1%. By the end of trading, Southwest Airlines fell 4 cents (-0.5%) to $7.98 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6.6 million shares of Southwest Airlines exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $7.93-$8.18 after having opened the day at $8.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $8.02. Other company's within the Services sector that declined today were: LodgeNet Interactive Corporation ( LNET), down 37%, DS Torm ( TRMD), down 18%, Iconix Brand Group ( ICON), down 14.6%, and Zipcar ( ZIP), down 10.8%.

Southwest Airlines Co. engages in the operation of a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States. Southwest Airlines has a market cap of $6.09 billion and is part of the transportation industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 43.8, above the average transportation industry P/E ratio of 21.9 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Southwest Airlines a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southwest Airlines as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, iParty Corporation ( IPT), up 24.7%, Sino-Global Shipping America ( SINO), up 21.2%, CIBT Education Group ( MBA), up 12.8%, and National American University Holdings ( NAUH), up 12.7%, were all gainers within the services sector with Wynn Resorts ( WYNN) being today's featured services sector winner.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the services sector could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Services ( IYC) while those bearish on the services sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers ( SCC).
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