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

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

United Continental Holdings ( UAL) pushed the Services sector higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, United Continental Holdings rose 35 cents (1.7%) to $20.48 on light volume. Throughout the day, three million shares of United Continental Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $20.02-$20.59 after having opened the day at $20.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.13. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were: SUPERVALU ( SVU), up 44.8%, Shengkai Innovations ( VALV), up 11.7%, Newlead Holdings ( NEWL), up 11.4%, and Oxygen Biotherapeutics ( OXBT), up 9.5%.
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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 $6.84 billion and is part of the transportation industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.6, below the average transportation industry P/E ratio of 23.1 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate United Continental Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four 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 good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, poor profit margins and relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year.

On the negative front, Overseas Shipholding Group ( OSG), down 62.1%, American Learning ( ALRN), down 13.2%, Point.360 ( PTSX), down 11.2%, and Innovaro ( INV), down 10.3%, were all laggards within the services sector with GNC Acquisition Holdings ( GNC) being today's services sector laggard.

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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