Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM): 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.

Whole Foods Market ( WFM) pushed the Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Retail laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Whole Foods Market fell $0.94 (-1.8%) to $52.56 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 9,138,424 shares of Whole Foods Market exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,088,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $52.25-$53.19 after having opened the day at $52.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.50. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: Pacific Sunwear ( PSUN), down 16.0%, Sears Holdings Corporation ( SHLD), down 13.8%, Pricesmart ( PSMT), down 8.0% and RadioShack ( RSH), down 6.6%.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. operates as a retailer of natural and organic foods. Whole Foods Market has a market cap of $20.1 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 36.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.5% 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, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. 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 positive front, Pharmerica Corporation ( PMC), up 27.1%, Francescas Holdings ( FRAN), up 24.4%, China Jo-Jo Drugstores ( CJJD), up 23.9% and Abercrombie & Fitch Company ( ANF), up 12.0% , were all gainers within the retail industry with TJX Companies ( TJX) 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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