Lowe's Companies Inc. (LOW): 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.

Lowe's Companies ( LOW) pushed the Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Retail laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Lowe's Companies fell 42 cents (-1.2%) to $35.20 on average volume. Throughout the day, 14 million shares of Lowe's Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12.3 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $34.80-$35.67 after having opened the day at $35.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.62. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: Pacific Sunwear ( PSUN), down 4.8%, HHGregg Incorporated ( HGG), down 4.2%, DSW ( DSW), down 4.2%, and Buckle Incorporated ( BKE), down 4.1%.
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Lowe's Companies, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer. It offers a range of products for maintenance, repair, remodeling, and home decorating. Lowe's Companies has a market cap of $41.11 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 42% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Lowe's Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lowe's Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Coastal Contacts ( COA), up 20%, SUPERVALU ( SVU), up 13.7%, Walgreen Company ( WAG), up 3.7%, and ValueVision Media ( VVTV), up 3.5%, were all gainers within the retail industry with Safeway ( SWY) 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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