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Inventory trends are a very important consideration for retail stocks because their relationship with revenue can give hints on how well or poorly the stores are selling.

We ran a screen on large-cap retail stocks for those that are exhibiting negative trends in inventory: growth in inventory outpacing growth in revenue year-over-year, as well as inventory becoming a smaller portion of current assets.

These trends may indicate that a company is having trouble selling its inventory, although increasing inventory may just indicate a change in the company's policies.

‪Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.‬

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.

Do you think these companies are in hot water? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

1. Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS): Operates as a specialty retailing company. Market cap at $11.22B. Revenue grew by -1.89% during the most recent quarter ($3,585M vs. $3,654M y/y). Inventory grew by 7.5% during the same time period ($2,322M vs. $2,160M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 48.25% to 50.99% during the most recent quarter (comparing 13 weeks ending 2011-10-29 to 13 weeks ending 2010-10-30).

2. Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE): Designs, develops, and markets footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessory products for men, women, and children worldwide. Market cap at $48.52B. Revenue grew by 17.51% during the most recent quarter ($6,081M vs. $5,175M y/y). Inventory grew by 40.59% during the same time period ($3,107M vs. $2,210M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 20.99% to 28.15% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2011-08-31 to 3 months ending 2010-08-31).

3. Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE:RL): Engages in the design, marketing, and distribution of lifestyle products. Market cap at $15.84B. Revenue grew by 16.64% during the most recent quarter ($1,805.6M vs. $1,548M y/y). Inventory grew by 28.24% during the same time period ($894.7M vs. $697.7M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 27.76% to 31.65% during the most recent quarter (comparing 13 weeks ending 2011-12-31 to 13 weeks ending 2011-01-01).

4. Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST): Operates off-price retail apparel and home accessories stores under the Ross Dress for Less and dd's DISCOUNTS brand names in the United States. Market cap at $12.10B. Revenue grew by 9.18% during the most recent quarter ($2,046.43M vs. $1,874.32M y/y). Inventory grew by 17.7% during the same time period ($1,233.62M vs. $1,048.13M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 55.02% to 63.% during the most recent quarter (comparing 13 weeks ending 2011-10-29 to 13 weeks ending 2010-10-30).

5. The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX): Operates as an off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $26.50B. Revenue grew by 4.84% during the most recent quarter ($5,793.13M vs. $5,525.85M y/y). Inventory grew by 13.23% during the same time period ($3,706.02M vs. $3,272.96M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 61.79% to 68.4% during the most recent quarter (comparing 13 weeks ending 2011-10-29 to 13 weeks ending 2010-10-30).

*Accounting data sourced from Google Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.