Walgreen Company (WAG): Today's Featured Services Winner

Walgreen Company ( WAG) pushed the Services sector higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.2%. By the end of trading, Walgreen Company rose 48 cents (1.6%) to $30.58 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6.7 million shares of Walgreen Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $30.11-$30.65 after having opened the day at $30.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.10. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were: Willdan Group ( WLDN), up 26.9%, New York & Company ( NWY), up 18.9%, China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH), up 13.2%, and China Metro-Rural Holdings ( CNR), up 13.1%.

Walgreen Co., together with its subsidiaries, operates a chain of drugstores in the United States. Walgreen Company has a market cap of $25.7 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.3, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 9.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Walgreen Company a buy, three analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Walgreen Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Bridgepoint Education ( BPI), down 24.7%, Box Ships ( TEU), down 18%, Scientific Learning Corporation ( SCIL), down 14.4%, and SUPERVALU ( SVU), down 13.8%, were all losers within the services sector with HMS Holdings Corporation ( HMSY) 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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