Lowe's Companies Inc. (LOW): Today's Featured Retail Winner

Lowe's Companies ( LOW) pushed the Retail industry higher today making it today's featured retail winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.8%. By the end of trading, Lowe's Companies rose 18 cents (0.6%) to $31.61 on light volume. Throughout the day, 9.3 million shares of Lowe's Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14.2 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $31.08-$31.81 after having opened the day at $31.54 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.43. Other companies within the Retail industry that increased today were: China Nepstar Chain Drugstore ( NPD), up 29.4%, Amazon.com ( AMZN), up 15.8%, Builders FirstSource ( BLDR), up 7.7%, and U.S. Auto Parts Network ( PRTS), up 6.3%.

Lowe's Companies, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer. It offers a range of products for maintenance, repair, remodeling, and home decorating. Lowe's Companies has a market cap of $38.04 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.2, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 23.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Lowe's Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lowe's Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, RadioShack ( RSH), down 4.8%, Cache ( CACH), down 3.9%, Gaiam ( GAIA), down 2.8%, and ValueVision Media ( VVTV), down 2.3%, were all losers within the retail industry with Ann ( ANN) being today's retail industry loser.

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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