Southwest Airlines Co (LUV): Today's Featured Transportation Winner

Southwest Airlines ( LUV) pushed the Transportation industry higher today making it today's featured transportation winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Southwest Airlines rose 19 cents (2.1%) to $9.05 on average volume. Throughout the day, 9.3 million shares of Southwest Airlines exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.4 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $8.84-$9.09 after having opened the day at $8.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $8.86. Other companies within the Transportation industry that increased today were: Rand Logistics ( RLOG), up 19.1%, US Airways Group ( LCC), up 7.7%, YRC Worldwide ( YRCW), up 7.5%, and Paragon Shipping ( PRGN), up 5.7%.

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 $6.76 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.1, above the average transportation industry P/E ratio of 24.4 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Eagle Bulk Shipping ( EGLE), down 8.7%, DS Torm ( TRMD), down 8.5%, Globus Maritime ( GLBS), down 7.7%, and Newlead Holdings ( NEWL), down 6.1%, were all losers within the transportation industry with Canadian Pacific Railway ( CP) 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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