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 down 0.4%. By the end of trading, W.W. Grainger fell $2.32 (-1.2%) to $198.20 on light volume. Throughout the day, 241,509 shares of W.W. Grainger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 682,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $198.08-$200.26 after having opened the day at $199.87 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $200.52. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that declined today were: Peerless Systems Corporation ( PRLS), down 6%, Rada Electronics Industries ( RADA), down 3.5%, China Auto Logistics ( CALI), down 3.3%, and Universal Power Group ( UPG), down 3.1%.
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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 $13.82 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate W.W. Grainger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight 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, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations 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.

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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