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Most retailers' January sales numbers are out this morning:

  • Wal-Mart had a 2.2% rise in sales at stores open at least one year; forecasts had been for 2%. WMT forecasts February U.S. sales growth of 1-2%.
  • Costco had a 2% jump in same-store sales, missing estimates of 3%. The last time COST had such low growth was in late 2002; the company blames the weakness on a calendar shift.
  • Limited Brands posted an 11% jump, higher than its estimates of high-single digits. It forecasts high-single digit growth for Feb.
  • Nordstrom had an 11.1% rise in same-store sales, almost double the consensus estimate of 5.9% -- the second month in a row it has doubled expectations.
  • J.C. Penney said January sales at stores open at least a year were up 3.6%, in line with estimates. Total department store sales were up 5.5%.
  • Federated Department Stores saw January same-store sales climb 8.6%, almost twice the consensus estimate of 4.6%. It gave revised Q4 2006 EPS guidance of $1.55-1.60, up from $1.40-1.50.
  • Abercrombie & Fitch said its January sales at stores open at least one year dropped 6%, far worse than the forecast 1.9%. 2006 sales were up 19% to $3.32b from $2.79b.
  • Gap Inc. had flat same-store sales in January, beating estimates of -7.7%. The company gave EPS guidance of $0.89-0.91 for fiscal 2006.
  • BJs Wholesale Club said January same-store sales rose 3.5%; estimates were for 1.5%.
  • Kohl's posted 8.7% sales gains at stores open at least one year, beating estimates of 5.5%.
  • Retailers whose numbers came out previously: American Eagle Outfitters (+17%), Pacific Sunwear of California (-7.7%), Pier 1 Imports (-13%), Sharper Image (-25%)

Sources: Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch I, II, III, IV, V, VI
Commentary: Are Retail Sales Good For the Economy?Retail Sector Closes the Year on (Mostly) Down NoteAn Optimistic Outlook On Consumer Spending
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST), Limited Brands Inc. (LTD), Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE:JWN), J.C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE:JCP), Federated Department Stores Inc. (FD), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF), Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS), BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. (NYSE:BJ), American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (AEOS), Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (NASDAQ:PSUN), Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE:PIR), Sharper Image Corp. (SHRP). ETFs: Retail HOLDRs (NYSEARCA:RTH), Consumer Discretionary SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLY)

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Source: Retailers Post January Same Store Sales