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

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 higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Kroger rose $0.95 (2.5%) to $38.62 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6,845,042 shares of Kroger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,796,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $37.81-$39.00 after having opened the day at $38.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.67. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were: Pandora Media ( P), up 12.1%, Hastings Entertainment ( HAST), up 11.0%, Sport Chalet ( SPCHB), up 8.6% and SeaWorld Entertainment ( SEAS), up 7.6%.

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 $19.5 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are up 44.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 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 revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance 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 negative front, FreeSeas ( FREE), down 13.8%, Men's Wearhouse ( MW), down 12.1%, Newlead Holdings ( NEWL), down 11.3% and Armco Metals Holdings ( CNAM), down 10.8% , were all laggards within the services sector with Macy's ( M) being today's services sector laggard.

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).

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