United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL): Today's Featured Services Loser

United Continental Holdings ( UAL) pushed the Services sector lower today making it today's featured Services loser. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, United Continental Holdings fell 85 cents (-3.7%) to $22.12 on average volume. Throughout the day, 7.8 million shares of United Continental Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $21.83-$23.16 after having opened the day at $23.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.97. Other company's within the Services sector that declined today were: 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%.

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 $7.58 billion and is part of the transportation industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.1, equal to the average transportation industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 20.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate United Continental Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two 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 solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally poor debt management and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, 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%, were all gainers within the services sector with Starbucks Corporation ( SBUX) 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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