Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT): 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.

Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT) pushed the Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Retail laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Wal-Mart Stores fell $1.33 (-1.8%) to $73.52 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 13,003,972 shares of Wal-Mart Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6,244,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $72.81-$74.00 after having opened the day at $73.24 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $74.85. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: Conn's ( CONN), down 42.9%, Fresh Market ( TFM), down 7.5%, J.C. Penney ( JCP), down 5.8% and Fairway Group Holdings Corp Class A ( FWM), down 3.9%.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $243.8 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 4.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Wal-Mart Stores a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wal-Mart Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income 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, QKL Stores ( QKLS), up 5.4%, Vitacost.com ( VITC), up 3.8%, HHGregg Incorporated ( HGG), up 3.2% and Lumber Liquidators Holdings ( LL), up 3.1% , were all gainers within the retail industry with Home Depot ( HD) 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).

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