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

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 0.7%. By the end of trading, Gap fell 54 cents (-1.5%) to $35.42 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3.2 million shares of Gap exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of five million shares. The stock ranged in price between $35.18-$35.99 after having opened the day at $35.69 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.96. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: Pacific Sunwear (PSUN), down 9.8%, Tilly's (TLYS), down 8.4%, Guess (GES), down 7.2%, and Cato Corporation (CATO), down 5.6%.

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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 $17.47 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Gap a buy, three 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 solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, SUPERVALU (SVU), up 11.7%, dELiA*s (DLIA), up 10.3%, Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores (SHOS), up 5.8%, and Alon Holdings Blue Square - Israel (BSI), up 4.2%, were all gainers within the retail industry with Ross Stores (ROST) 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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