Airgas ( ARG) pushed the Wholesale industry higher today making it today's featured wholesale winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 2.2%. By the end of trading, Airgas rose $1.44 (1.7%) to $85.04 on average volume. Throughout the day, 425,136 shares of Airgas exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 506,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $84.16-$85.04 after having opened the day at $84.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $83.60. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that increased today were: Westinghouse Solar ( WEST), up 13.8%, Aegean Marine Petroleum Network ( ANW), up 8.2%, Shengkai Innovations ( VALV), up 7.8%, and SinoHub ( SIHI), up 7%. Airgas, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the distribution of industrial, medical, and specialty gases in the United States. Airgas has a market cap of $6.48 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.1, equal to the average wholesale industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Airgas a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold. TheStreet Ratings rates Airgas as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.
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