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

W.W. Grainger ( GWW) pushed the Wholesale industry lower today making it today's featured Wholesale laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, W.W. Grainger fell $6.28 (-2.9%) to $209.58 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2.1 million shares of W.W. Grainger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 482,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $197.18-$210.60 after having opened the day at $202.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $215.86. Another company within the Wholesale industry that decreased today was Shengkai Innovations ( VALV), down 4%.
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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 $14.96 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 22, equal to the average wholesale industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are six analysts that rate W.W. Grainger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and nine 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.

On the positive front, Longwei Petroleum Investment Holding Limite ( LPH), up 7.7%, Olympic Steel ( ZEUS), up 6%, Coast Distribution System ( CRV), up 5.9%, and Chefs Warehouse Holdings ( CHEF), up 5.5%, were all gainers within the wholesale industry with Cardinal Health ( CAH) being today's featured wholesale industry leader.

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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