Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM): Today's Featured Services Laggard

Whole Foods Market ( WFM) pushed the Services sector lower today making it today's featured Services laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Whole Foods Market fell $0.89 (-1.7%) to $51.48 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,743,065 shares of Whole Foods Market exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,815,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $51.19-$51.97 after having opened the day at $51.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.37. Other companies within the Services sector that declined today were: Digital Domain Media Group ( DDMGQ), down 38.9%, Digital Domain Media Group ( DDMG), down 38.9%, Lime Energy ( LIME), down 14.3% and Daegis ( DAEG), down 10.0%.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. owns and operates a chain of natural and organic foods supermarkets. The company offers produce, grocery, meat and poultry, seafood, bakery, prepared foods and catering, coffee and tea, nutritional supplements, and vitamins. Whole Foods Market has a market cap of $19.6 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 36.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Whole Foods Market a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Whole Foods Market 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

On the positive front, Birks & Mayors ( BMJ), up 40.4%, Era Group ( ERA), up 28.2%, Emmis Communications ( EMMS), up 18.2% and Arkansas Best Corporation ( ABFS), up 14.8% , were all gainers within the services sector with Grupo Televisa S.A.B ( TV) being today's featured services sector leader.

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).

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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