Kroger Co (KR): Today's Featured Services Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Kroger ( KR) pushed the Services sector lower today making it today's featured Services laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Kroger fell $0.72 (-1.8%) to $38.88 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,505,590 shares of Kroger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,981,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $38.66-$39.47 after having opened the day at $39.47 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.60. Other companies within the Services sector that declined today were: China Yida ( CNYD), down 28.6%, YRC Worldwide ( YRCW), down 19.8%, Air Transport Services Group ( ATSG), down 10.9% and Spark Networks ( LOV), down 10.7%.

The Kroger Co., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States. The company also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. It operates retail food and drug stores, multi-department stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores. Kroger has a market cap of $20.2 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are up 52.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Kroger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kroger as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. 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, Newlead Holdings ( NEWL), up 53.4%, Liberty Media Corporation Class A ( LMCA), up 31.0%, Digital Domain Media Group ( DDMGQ), up 29.4% and Era Group ( ERA), up 28.4% , 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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