Safeway Inc. (SWY): Today's Featured Services Laggard

Safeway ( SWY) 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, Safeway fell $0.35 (-1.4%) to $24.55 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,798,469 shares of Safeway exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6,005,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $24.46-$24.93 after having opened the day at $24.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.90. Other companies within the Services sector that declined today were: Lee ( LEE), down 12.3%, RealD ( RLD), down 9.9%, ALCO Stores ( ALCS), down 7.2% and Envoy Capital Group ( ECGI), down 6.7%.

Safeway Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a food and drug retailer in North America. Safeway has a market cap of $5.9 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are up 35.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Safeway a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Safeway as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Era Group ( ERA), up 28.1%, AthenaHealth ( ATHN), up 19.9%, Tiger Media ( IDI), up 12.5% and Acorn International ( ATV), up 11.4% , were all gainers within the services sector with Lowe's Companies ( LOW) 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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