Ross Stores Inc. (ROST): Today's Featured Retail Laggard

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.

Ross Stores ( ROST) pushed the Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Retail laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, Ross Stores fell $1.28 (-1.9%) to $65.40 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 4.3 million shares of Ross Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $64.69-$67.05 after having opened the day at $66.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.68. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: Bidz.com ( BIDZ), down 11.1%, Bon-Ton Stores ( BONT), down 7.6%, Pacific Sunwear ( PSUN), down 5.3%, and bebe stores ( BEBE), down 4.4%.
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Ross Stores, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates off-price retail apparel and home fashion stores under the Ross Dress for Less and dd's DISCOUNTS brand names in the United States. Ross Stores has a market cap of $14.77 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.5, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 38.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Ross Stores a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ross Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Alon Holdings Blue Square - Israel ( BSI), up 17.3%, E-Commerce China Dangdang ( DANG), up 6.6%, Gordman's Stores ( GMAN), up 5.7%, and GameStop ( GME), up 5%, were all gainers within the retail industry with eBay ( EBAY) being today's featured retail industry leader.

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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