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

Southwest Airlines ( LUV) pushed the Transportation industry lower today making it today's featured Transportation laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Southwest Airlines fell $0.38 (-2.9%) to $12.97 on average volume. Throughout the day, 9,481,943 shares of Southwest Airlines exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,539,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $12.92-$13.26 after having opened the day at $13.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $13.35. Other companies within the Transportation industry that declined today were: Globus Maritime ( GLBS), down 8.1%, Diana Containerships ( DCIX), down 6.6%, Seanergy Maritime Holdings ( SHIP), down 5.8% and Newlead Holdings ( NEWL), down 5.6%.

Southwest Airlines Co. operates passenger airlines that provide scheduled air transportation services in the United States. As of December 31, 2012, the company operated 694 aircraft, including 606 Boeing 737 aircraft and 88 Boeing 717 aircraft. Southwest Airlines has a market cap of $9.6 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 30.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Southwest Airlines a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 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 revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Pacific Airport Group ( PAC), up 5.3%, Universal Truckload Services ( UACL), up 5.2%, Star Bulk Carriers ( SBLK), up 3.8% and Era Group ( ERA), up 3.7% , were all gainers within the transportation industry with Union Pacific ( UNP) being today's featured transportation industry leader.

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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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