Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT): 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.

Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT) pushed the Retail industry higher today making it today's featured retail winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Wal-Mart Stores rose $1.19 (1.7%) to $72.02 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 12 million shares of Wal-Mart Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.4 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $70.85-$72.12 after having opened the day at $71.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $70.83. Other companies within the Retail industry that increased today were: Christopher & Banks Corporation ( CBK), up 24.5%, Liquidity Service ( LQDT), up 8.5%, SUPERVALU ( SVU), up 4.4%, and Gaiam Inc. Class A ( GAIA), up 3.7%.
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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. It operates retail stores, restaurants, discount stores, supermarkets, supercenters, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, apparel stores, Sam's Clubs, and neighborhood markets, as well as walmart.com; and samsclub.com. Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $237.18 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 18.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Wal-Mart Stores a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wal-Mart Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, Pacific Sunwear ( PSUN), down 19.6%, China Jo-Jo Drugstores ( CJJD), down 9.1%, Genesco ( GCO), down 8.7%, and QKL Stores ( QKLS), down 6.6%, were all laggards within the retail industry with Advance Auto Parts ( AAP) 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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