3 Stocks Boosting The Retail Industry Higher

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.

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 49.00 points (-0.3%) at 17,934 as of Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, 3:25 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,635 issues advancing vs. 1,400 declining with 160 unchanged.

The Retail industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.7%. Top gainers within the Retail industry included U S Auto Parts Network ( PRTS), up 2.6%, Gordman's Stores ( GMAN), up 4.3%, Pacific Sunwear ( PSUN), up 1.9%, Stein Mart ( SMRT), up 2.9% and Bon-Ton Stores ( BONT), up 1.6%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Pacific Sunwear ( PSUN) is one of the companies that pushed the Retail industry higher today. Pacific Sunwear was up $0.04 (1.9%) to $2.20 on light volume. Throughout the day, 186,598 shares of Pacific Sunwear exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 360,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $2.09-$2.20 after having opened the day at $2.17 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.16.

Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty retailer in the action sports, fashion, and music influences of the California lifestyle. Pacific Sunwear has a market cap of $149.6 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 35.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Pacific Sunwear a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates Pacific Sunwear as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PSUN go as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Specialty Retail industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 102.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $17.24 million to -$0.47 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 5.51 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.09, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, PACIFIC SUNWEAR CALIF INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to -$5.39 million or 33.95% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 42.02%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 104.16% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.

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

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

At the close, Gordman's Stores ( GMAN) was up $0.11 (4.3%) to $2.69 on average volume. Throughout the day, 49,762 shares of Gordman's Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 61,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $2.55-$2.70 after having opened the day at $2.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.58.

Gordmans Stores, Inc. operates department stores under the Gordmans name in the United States. Its merchandise selection includes a range of apparel, footwear, and home fashions products, as well as accessories. Gordman's Stores has a market cap of $48.2 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 66.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Gordman's Stores a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gordman's Stores 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 generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on GMAN go as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.43 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.14, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Multiline Retail industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, GORDMANS STORES INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • GORDMANS STORES 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. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GORDMANS STORES INC reported lower earnings of $0.42 versus $1.21 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 159.5% in earnings (-$0.25 versus $0.42).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Multiline Retail industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 268.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1.10 million to -$1.85 million.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 67.85%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 266.66% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Gordman's Stores Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

U S Auto Parts Network ( PRTS) was another company that pushed the Retail industry higher today. U S Auto Parts Network was up $0.06 (2.6%) to $2.33 on light volume. Throughout the day, 30,080 shares of U S Auto Parts Network exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 48,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $2.16-$2.37 after having opened the day at $2.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.27.

U.S. Auto Parts Network, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an online retailer of automotive aftermarket parts and accessories primarily in the United States, Canada, and the Philippines. It operates in two segments, Base USAP and AutoMD. U S Auto Parts Network has a market cap of $73.8 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 8.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate U S Auto Parts Network a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates U S Auto Parts Network as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally high debt management risk, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PRTS go as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Internet & Catalog Retail industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 78.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$1.40 million to -$2.49 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.12, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for US AUTO PARTS NETWORK INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 27.09%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -3.66% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$10.70 million or 274.71% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The share price of US AUTO PARTS NETWORK INC has not done very well: it is down 10.04% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: U S Auto Parts Network Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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.

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