Airgas Inc (ARG): Today's Featured Wholesale Winner

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.

Airgas ( ARG) pushed the Wholesale industry higher today making it today's featured wholesale winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, Airgas rose $2.12 (2.0%) to $105.45 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 898,392 shares of Airgas exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 415,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $103.17-$105.69 after having opened the day at $103.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $103.33. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that increased today were: Navarre Corporation ( NAVR), up 6.2%, Houston Wire & Cable Company ( HWCC), up 3.9%, Wesco Aircraft Holdings ( WAIR), up 3.7% and Olympic Steel ( ZEUS), up 3.6%.

Airgas, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the distribution of industrial, medical, and specialty gases in the United States. Airgas has a market cap of $7.7 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 13.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Airgas a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Airgas as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, China Metro-Rural Holdings ( CNR), down 7.5%, Coast Distribution System ( CRV), down 4.9%, InfoSonics Corporation ( IFON), down 3.4% and Forward Industries ( FORD), down 3.1%.

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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