Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT): 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.

Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT) pushed the Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Retail laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Wal-Mart Stores fell 88 cents (-1.2%) to $70.78 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 17.6 million shares of Wal-Mart Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $70.78-$71.88 after having opened the day at $71.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $71.66. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: J.C. Penney ( JCP), down 17%, RadioShack ( RSH), down 8.5%, U.S. Auto Parts Network ( PRTS), down 7.1%, and Sears Holdings Corporation ( SHLD), down 5.2%.
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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 $237.88 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Wal-Mart Stores a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 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 revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Restoration Hardware Holdings ( RH), up 5.9%, Acorn International ( ATV), up 4.7%, Chico's FAS ( CHS), up 3.5%, and Liquidity Service ( LQDT), up 2.9%, were all gainers within the retail industry with eBay ( EBAY) 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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