Walgreen Company (WAG): 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

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 1.0%. By the end of trading, Walgreen Company rose $0.78 (1.6%) to $49.61 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4,041,737 shares of Walgreen Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6,192,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $48.75-$49.65 after having opened the day at $48.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.84. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were: Liberty Media Corporation ( LMCAD), up 14.9%, Liberty Media Corporation ( LMCA), up 14.9%, Xueda Education Group ( XUE), up 14.4% and Morgans Hotel Group Company ( MHGC), up 13.2%.
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Walgreen Co., together with its subsidiaries, operates a network of drugstores in the United States. It provides consumer goods and services, pharmacy, and health and wellness services through drugstores, as well as through mail, and by telephone and online. Walgreen Company has a market cap of $47.4 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 32.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Walgreen Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 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 increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, Cosi ( COSI), down 14.7%, Torm A/S ( TRMD), down 10.9%, Mecox Lane ( MCOX), down 8.6% and TOP Ships ( TOPS), down 8.2%.

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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