Kroger Co (KR): Today's Featured Retail Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Kroger ( KR) 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, Kroger fell $0.47 (-1.2%) to $39.18 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,868,683 shares of Kroger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,963,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $38.71-$39.60 after having opened the day at $39.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.65. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: Body Central ( BODY), down 32.3%, RadioShack ( RSH), down 11.1%, Ingles Markets ( IMKTA), down 10.5% and dELiA*s ( DLIA), down 6.7%.

The Kroger Co., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States. The company also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. It operates retail food and drug stores, multi-department stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores. Kroger has a market cap of $20.4 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 50.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Kroger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kroger 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, increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Gaiam Inc. Class A ( GAIA), up 20.2%, QKL Stores ( QKLS), up 9.8%, HHGregg Incorporated ( HGG), up 8.1% and Mercadolibre ( MELI), up 5.7% , were all gainers within the retail industry with Home Depot ( HD) 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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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