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 down 0.9%. By the end of trading, Airgas rose $1.14 (1.1%) to $108.57 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 542,300 shares of Airgas exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 347,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $106.63-$109.20 after having opened the day at $107.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $107.43. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that increased today were: Armco Metals Holdings ( AMCO), up 3.9%, Coast Distribution System ( CRV), up 3.9%, Commercial Vehicle Group ( CVGI), up 2.8% and Chefs Warehouse Holdings ( CHEF), up 2.7%.

Airgas, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, supplies industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods. The company operates through two business segments, Distribution and All Other Operations. Airgas has a market cap of $7.9 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Airgas a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Airgas as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front, Aegean Marine Petroleum Network ( ANW), down 5.0%, Forward Industries ( FORD), down 5.0%, Richardson Electronics ( RELL), down 3.2% and China Metro-Rural Holdings ( CNR), down 3.0% , were all laggards within the wholesale industry with Genuine Parts Company ( GPC) being today's wholesale industry laggard.

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).

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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