Starbucks Corporation (SBUX): Today's Featured Services Winner

Starbucks Corporation ( SBUX) pushed the Services sector higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Starbucks Corporation rose $1.16 (1.9%) to $60.66 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 13.3 million shares of Starbucks Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $59.40-$61.15 after having opened the day at $59.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.50. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were: MarineMax ( HZO), up 24.3%, Brink's Company ( BCO), up 16.4%, Strayer Education ( STRA), up 14.9%, and Emmis Communications ( EMMS), up 13.8%.

Starbucks Corporation purchases and roasts whole bean coffees. It operates 6,705 company-operated stores and 4,082 licensed stores in the United States; and 2,326 company-operated stores and 3,890 licensed stores in Canada, the U.K., China, Germany, Thailand, and internationally. Starbucks Corporation has a market cap of $43.73 billion and is part of the leisure industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 34.8, equal to the average leisure industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 29.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 19 analysts that rate Starbucks Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Starbucks Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

On the negative front, Furiex Pharmaceuticals ( FURX), down 23%, Good Times Restaurants ( GTIM), down 17.4%, Valassis Communications ( VCI), down 15.5%, and American Learning ( ALRN), down 13.7%, were all losers within the services sector with United Continental Holdings ( UAL) being today's services sector loser.

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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