Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM): Today's Featured Retail 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.

Whole Foods Market ( WFM) pushed the Retail industry higher today making it today's featured retail winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Whole Foods Market rose $0.75 (1.3%) to $57.11 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,704,651 shares of Whole Foods Market exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,416,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $56.69-$57.42 after having opened the day at $56.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.36. Other companies within the Retail industry that increased today were: ValueVision Media ( VVTV), up 6.2%, GameStop ( GME), up 6.1%, Safeway ( SWY), up 6.0% and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage ( NGVC), up 4.4%.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. owns and operates a chain of natural foods supermarkets. The Company opened its first store in Austin, Texas in 1980 and, as of September 24, 2000, operated 117 stores in 22 states plus the District of Columbia. Whole Foods Market has a market cap of $20.9 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 23.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Whole Foods Market a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Whole Foods Market 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

On the negative front, dELiA*s ( DLIA), down 5.3%, Vipshop Holdings ( VIPS), down 3.7%, E-Commerce China Dangdang ( DANG), down 3.2% and Fresh Market ( TFM), down 2.8% , were all laggards within the retail industry with Advance Auto Parts ( AAP) being today's retail industry laggard.

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).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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