Gap Inc. (GPS): Today's Featured Retail 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.

Gap ( GPS) pushed the Retail industry higher today making it today's featured retail winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Gap rose 40 cents (1.1%) to $35.78 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5.4 million shares of Gap exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $35.24-$35.92 after having opened the day at $35.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.38. Other companies within the Retail industry that increased today were: Orchard Supply Hardware ( OSH), up 6.8%, Christopher & Banks Corporation ( CBK), up 6%, QKL Stores ( QKLS), up 5.6%, and GNC Acquisition Holdings ( GNC), up 5.3%.
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The Gap, Inc. operates as a specialty retailer. The company offers apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, and Athleta brand names. Gap has a market cap of $16.96 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.7, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 90.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Gap a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gap as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front, ALCO Stores ( ALCS), down 9.1%, Cache ( CACH), down 4.5%, Roundys ( RNDY), down 4.1%, and HHGregg Incorporated ( HGG), down 3.4%, were all laggards within the retail industry with Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF) being today's retail industry laggard.

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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