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The Specialty Retail industry as a whole closed the day down 1.7% versus the S&P 500, which was down 1.5%. Laggards within the Specialty Retail industry included Birks Group ( BGI), down 5.5%, China Auto Logistics ( CALI), down 3.0%, Rush ( RUSHB), down 2.3%, CSS Industries ( CSS), down 1.6% and West Marine ( WMAR), down 3.4%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the industry lower today:

CSS Industries ( CSS) is one of the companies that pushed the Specialty Retail industry lower today. CSS Industries was down $0.38 (1.6%) to $23.92 on average volume. Throughout the day, 18,650 shares of CSS Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $23.90-$24.28 after having opened the day at $24.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.30.

CSS Industries, Inc., a consumer products company, is engaged in the design, manufacture, procurement, distribution, and sale of various occasion and seasonal social expression products primarily to mass market retailers primarily in the United States and Canada. CSS Industries has a market cap of $227.7 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 15.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates CSS Industries 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, compelling growth in net income, reasonable valuation levels and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CSS go as follows:

  • CSS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • CSS has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.70, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Household Durables industry average. The net income increased by 20.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$1.67 million to -$1.33 million.
  • CSS INDUSTRIES INC has improved earnings per share by 22.2% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. During the past fiscal year, CSS INDUSTRIES INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.97 versus $1.62 in the prior year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: CSS Industries Ratings Report

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At the close, Rush ( RUSHB) was down $0.68 (2.3%) to $28.41 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3,315 shares of Rush exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $28.41-$28.75 after having opened the day at $28.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.09.

Rush Enterprises, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated retailer of commercial vehicles and related services in the United States. The company owns and operates a network of commercial vehicle dealerships under the Rush Truck Centers name. Rush has a market cap of $294.6 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 14.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Rush as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on RUSHB go as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 0.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 49.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 250.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 27.25% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • RUSH ENTERPRISES INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, RUSH ENTERPRISES INC reported lower earnings of $1.22 versus $1.58 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.82 versus $1.22).
  • The gross profit margin for RUSH ENTERPRISES INC is rather low; currently it is at 16.35%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 1.67% trails that of the industry average.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.79 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.28, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Rush Ratings Report

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China Auto Logistics ( CALI) was another company that pushed the Specialty Retail industry lower today. China Auto Logistics was down $0.04 (3.0%) to $1.30 on light volume. Throughout the day, 5,622 shares of China Auto Logistics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 23,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.30-$1.44 after having opened the day at $1.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.34.

China Auto Logistics Inc. sells and trades in imported automobiles in the People's Republic of China. China Auto Logistics has a market cap of $5.8 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 62.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates China Auto Logistics as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CALI go as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.51 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, CALI maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.72, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, CHINA AUTO LOGISTICS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for CHINA AUTO LOGISTICS INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 0.92%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -1.62% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$13.35 million or 621.85% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • CHINA AUTO LOGISTICS INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, CHINA AUTO LOGISTICS INC reported lower earnings of $0.16 versus $0.67 in the prior year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: China Auto Logistics Ratings Report

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