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 down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Gap fell $0.50 (-1.1%) to $43.25 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3,475,602 shares of Gap exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,440,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $42.97-$43.65 after having opened the day at $43.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.75. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: ValueVision Media ( VVTV), down 6.3%, Restoration Hardware Holdings ( RH), down 5.2%, Christopher & Banks Corporation ( CBK), down 4.8% and LightInTheBox ( LITB), down 4.5%.

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 $19.6 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 11.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Gap a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 16 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gap as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, bebe stores ( BEBE), up 11.2%, Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores ( SHOS), up 5.8%, China Nepstar Chain Drugstore ( NPD), up 5.8% and E-Commerce China Dangdang ( DANG), up 5.5% , were all gainers within the retail industry with J.C. Penney ( JCP) 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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