Alaska Air Group Inc. (ALK): Today's Featured Transportation Winner

Alaska Air Group ( ALK) pushed the Transportation industry higher today making it today's featured transportation winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Alaska Air Group rose 57 cents (1.7%) to $34.10 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.3 million shares of Alaska Air Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 932,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $33.37-$34.23 after having opened the day at $33.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.53. Other companies within the Transportation industry that increased today were: Quality Distribution ( QLTY), up 13%, Newlead Holdings ( NEWL), up 6.1%, Air Transport Services Group ( ATSG), up 6%, and Teekay Tankers ( TNK), up 4.5%.

Alaska Air Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo. Alaska Air Group has a market cap of $2.37 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.5, equal to the average transportation industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 10.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate Alaska Air Group a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alaska Air Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, TOP Ships ( TOPS), down 11.3%, Sino-Global Shipping America ( SINO), down 11%, Skywest Incorporated ( SKYW), down 6.6%, and DS Torm ( TRMD), down 4.6%, were all losers within the transportation industry with Norfolk Southern Corporation ( NSC) being today's transportation industry loser.

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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