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 up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Airgas rose $1.81 (1.7%) to $107.53 on average volume. Throughout the day, 458,352 shares of Airgas exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 454,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $105.54-$107.69 after having opened the day at $105.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $105.72. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that increased today were: Taitron Components Inc. Class A ( TAIT), up 7.0%, Hudson Technology ( HDSN), up 6.9%, China Auto Logistics ( CALI), up 4.0% and Forward Industries ( FORD), up 2.4%.

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 $7.8 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 5.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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 revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Armco Metals Holdings ( AMCO), down 8.0%, LKQ Corporation ( LKQ), down 7.3%, InfoSonics Corporation ( IFON), down 4.3% and RTI International Metals ( RTI), down 4.3%.

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).

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