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 up 0.9%. By the end of trading, W.W. Grainger fell $4.53 (-1.7%) to $256.08 on light volume. Throughout the day, 257,350 shares of W.W. Grainger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 369,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $255.21-$261.00 after having opened the day at $261.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $260.61. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that declined today were: Armco Metals Holdings ( CNAM), down 7.0%, Shengkai Innovations ( VALV), down 6.0%, Hudson Technology ( HDSN), down 2.6% and MSC Industrial Direct ( MSM), down 1.7%.
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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 $17.6 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 28.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate W.W. Grainger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 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, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the positive front, Coast Distribution System ( CRV), down 14.3%, Empire Resources Incorporated ( ERS), down 10.8%, SED International Holdings ( SED), down 10.5% and Spartan Stores ( SPTN), down 5.3% , were all gainers within the wholesale industry with AmerisourceBergen ( ABC) being today's featured wholesale industry leader.

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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