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 $0.98 (1.3%) to $77.31 on average volume. Throughout the day, 7,561,846 shares of Wal-Mart Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,829,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $76.15-$77.41 after having opened the day at $76.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.33. Other companies within the Retail industry that increased today were: Orchard Supply Hardware ( OSH), up 11.4%, U.S. Auto Parts Network ( PRTS), up 10.3%, Shoe Carnival ( SCVL), up 10.1% and Bon-Ton Stores ( BONT), up 6.3%.
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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $253.4 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 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, revenue growth, notable return on equity, 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 negative front, Sears Holdings Corporation ( SHLD), down 13.6%, GameStop ( GME), down 10.8%, Aeropostale ( ARO), down 10.4% and Abercrombie & Fitch Company ( ANF), down 8.0% , were all laggards within the retail industry with Gap ( GPS) 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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