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Gap Inc. (GPS): Today's Featured Retail Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Gap ( GPS) pushed the Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Retail laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Gap fell $3.57 (-10.3%) to $30.94 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 37.5 million shares of Gap exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.3 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $30.53-$34.57 after having opened the day at $34.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.51. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: Coastal Contacts ( COA), down 11.5%, Pep Boys - Manny Moe & Jack ( PBY), down 10.4%, Arden Group ( ARDNA), down 6.3%, and Best Buy ( BBY), down 6%.

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The Gap, Inc. operates as a specialty retailer. The company offers apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, and Athleta brand names. Gap has a market cap of $16.57 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 85.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Gap a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gap as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the positive front, Big Lots ( BIG), up 11.5%, Pacific Sunwear ( PSUN), up 6.4%, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage ( NGVC), up 4.3%, and DSW ( DSW), up 4%, were all gainers within the retail industry with J.C. Penney ( JCP) being today's featured retail industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the retail industry could consider SPDR S&P Retail ETF ( XRT) while those bearish on the retail industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).

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