W.W. Grainger Inc. (GWW): Today's Featured Wholesale Winner

W.W. Grainger ( GWW) pushed the Wholesale industry higher today making it today's featured wholesale winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.1%. By the end of trading, W.W. Grainger rose $3.04 (1.5%) to $202.26 on light volume. Throughout the day, 379,428 shares of W.W. Grainger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 759,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $199.13-$208.71 after having opened the day at $202.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $199.22. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that increased today were: Bluelinx Holdings ( BXC), up 13.7%, Navarre Corporation ( NAVR), up 9%, SinoHub ( SIHI), up 8.3%, and Westinghouse Solar ( WEST), up 7.1%.

W.W. Grainger, Inc. engages in the distribution of maintenance, repair, and operating supplies, as well as other related products and services for businesses and institutions primarily in the United States and Canada. W.W. Grainger has a market cap of $13.94 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.4, equal to the average wholesale industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are five analysts that rate W.W. Grainger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates W.W. Grainger as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the wholesale industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Goods ( IYK) while those bearish on the wholesale industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).
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