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

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.

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 0.4%. By the end of trading, W.W. Grainger rose $3.11 (1.5%) to $206.78 on average volume. Throughout the day, 497,807 shares of W.W. Grainger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 558,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $203.37-$206.83 after having opened the day at $204.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $203.67. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that increased today were: China Auto Logistics ( CALI), up 11.5%, Armco Metals Holdings ( CNAM), up 5.8%, Bluelinx Holdings ( BXC), up 5.3%, and United Natural Foods ( UNFI), up 5.2%.
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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 $14.15 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.8, equal to the average wholesale industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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 revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. 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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