Gap Inc. (GPS): 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

Gap ( GPS) pushed the Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Retail laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Gap fell $0.72 (-1.7%) to $40.64 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,721,356 shares of Gap exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,117,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $40.09-$40.94 after having opened the day at $40.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.36. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: 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%.
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The Gap, Inc. operates as an apparel retail company. It offers apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, Athleta, and Intermix brands. The company operates through two segments, Stores and Direct. Gap has a market cap of $19.1 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.6, equal to the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 33.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Gap a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gap as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Orchard Supply Hardware ( OSH), down 11.4%, U.S. Auto Parts Network ( PRTS), down 10.3%, Shoe Carnival ( SCVL), down 10.1% and Bon-Ton Stores ( BONT), down 6.3% , were all gainers within the retail industry with Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT) 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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