Alaska Air Group Inc. (ALK): Today's Featured Transportation 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.

Alaska Air Group ( ALK) pushed the Transportation industry lower today making it today's featured Transportation laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Alaska Air Group fell $1.73 (-2.8%) to $60.19 on light volume. Throughout the day, 749,903 shares of Alaska Air Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,058,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $60.06-$61.92 after having opened the day at $61.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.92. Other companies within the Transportation industry that declined today were: YRC Worldwide ( YRCW), down 19.8%, Air Transport Services Group ( ATSG), down 10.9%, Republic Airways Holdings ( RJET), down 6.3% and Quality Distribution ( QLTY), down 5.0%.

Alaska Air Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo. Alaska Air Group has a market cap of $4.3 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 41.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Alaska Air Group a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alaska Air Group 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, attractive valuation levels and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Newlead Holdings ( NEWL), up 53.4%, Era Group ( ERA), up 28.4%, Air Methods ( AIRM), up 16.9% and Arkansas Best Corporation ( ABFS), up 16.2%.

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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