AutoZone Inc (AZO): 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.

AutoZone ( AZO) pushed the Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Retail laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, AutoZone fell $6.02 (-1.4%) to $429.02 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 403,449 shares of AutoZone exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 233,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $424.43-$437.11 after having opened the day at $436.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $435.04. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: BioScrip ( BIOS), down 18.5%, QKL Stores ( QKLS), down 11.9%, Gaiam Inc. Class A ( GAIA), down 5.4% and Aeropostale ( ARO), down 4.2%.

AutoZone, Inc. engages in retailing and distributing automotive replacement parts and accessories. AutoZone has a market cap of $15.8 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 22.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate AutoZone a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AutoZone as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. 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, Delhaize Group ( DEG), up 9.8%, RadioShack ( RSH), up 8.2%, LightInTheBox Holding Co Ltd ADR ( LITB), up 7.8% and J.C. Penney ( JCP), up 6.7% , were all gainers within the retail industry with Dollar General Corporation ( DG) 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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