Gap Inc. (GPS): 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.

Gap ( GPS) pushed the Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Retail laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Gap fell $0.78 (-1.9%) to $39.46 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 7,069,738 shares of Gap exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,678,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $38.83-$40.20 after having opened the day at $40.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.24. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: Big Lots ( BIG), down 12.6%, American Eagle Outfitters ( AEO), down 9.4%, J.C. Penney ( JCP), down 8.7% and Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores ( SHOS), down 4.6%.

The Gap, Inc. operates as an apparel retail company. It offers apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, Athleta, and Intermix brands worldwide. Gap has a market cap of $19.1 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 29.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Gap a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 15 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gap 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, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Pacific Sunwear ( PSUN), up 18.8%, Cache ( CACH), up 8.0%, Lumber Liquidators Holdings ( LL), up 6.8% and China Nepstar Chain Drugstore ( NPD), up 6.2% , were all gainers within the retail industry with CVS Caremark ( CVS) 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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