Airgas ( ARG) pushed the Wholesale industry lower today making it today's featured Wholesale laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Airgas fell 64 cents (-0.8%) to $79.30 on average volume. Throughout the day, 678,821 shares of Airgas exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 585,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $78.56-$79.96 after having opened the day at $79.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $79.94. Other company's within the Wholesale industry that declined today were: Westinghouse Solar ( WEST), down 15.4%, Armco Metals Holdings ( CNAM), down 8.1%, Bluelinx Holdings ( BXC), down 8.1%, and MWI Veterinary Supply ( MWIV), down 6.2%.

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 $6.04 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19, above the average wholesale industry P/E ratio of 18.6 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. 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, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

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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