Walgreen Company (WAG): 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.

Walgreen Company ( WAG) pushed the Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Retail laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.8%. By the end of trading, Walgreen Company fell 60 cents (-1.7%) to $34.90 on average volume. Throughout the day, 8.4 million shares of Walgreen Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.3 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $34.75-$35.69 after having opened the day at $35.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.50. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: Orchard Supply Hardware ( OSH), down 9.6%, ALCO Stores ( ALCS), down 8.6%, Harris Teeter Supermarkets ( HTSI), down 7.7%, and ValueVision Media ( VVTV), down 6.2%.
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Walgreen Co., together with its subsidiaries, operates a chain of drugstores in the United States. Walgreen Company has a market cap of $33.26 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate Walgreen Company a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Walgreen Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, HHGregg Incorporated ( HGG), up 18.9%, PC Connection ( PCCC), up 8.4%, Roundys ( RNDY), up 7.8%, and Pharmerica Corporation ( PMC), up 7.5%, were all gainers within the retail industry with Whole Foods Market ( WFM) 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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