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Tis the holiday shopping season, where retailers can make up to 40% of their annual revenues. For a look at what hedge funds currently think about some of the biggest names, we ran a screen on the industry.

We screened the retail industry for those stocks seeing the highest net institutional selling over the current quarter, indicating that hedge funds and other institutional investors expect these companies to lag.

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.


(Click to enlarge)

Do you agree with their pessimism, or is this an opportunity to buy? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

List sorted by net institutional purchases as a percent of share float.

1. The Talbots Inc. (TLB): Operates as a specialty retailer and direct marketer of women's apparel, accessories, and shoes in the United States and Canada. Market cap of $141.42M. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 18.1M, which is 29.29% of the company's 61.80M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 25.49% (equivalent to 8.65 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 16.32% over the last week.

2. Mecox Lane Limited (MCOX): Engages in the design and sale of apparel, accessories, home, and healthcare products through its online platform and stores. Market cap of $81.95M. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 4.2M, which is 20.37% of the company's 20.62M share float. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading 10.32% below its SMA20, 8.42% below its SMA50, and 58.32% below its SMA200. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 19.21%.

3. Gap Inc. (GPS): Operates as a specialty retailing company. Market cap of $9.18B. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 54.7M, which is 15.40% of the company's 355.27M share float. The stock has lost 11.2% over the last year.

4. Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (PSUN): Operates as a retailer rooted in the action sports, fashion, and music influences of the California lifestyle. Market cap of $90.13M. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 5.4M, which is 15.06% of the company's 35.86M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.38). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 14.9% (equivalent to 10.61 days of average volume). The stock has lost 78.61% over the last year.

5. Dillard's Inc. (DDS): Operates as an apparel and home furnishing retailer in the United States. Market cap of $2.56B. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 4.4M, which is 14.55% of the company's 30.24M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.45). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 18.53% (equivalent to 5.24 days of average volume). The stock has gained 60.86% over the last year.

6. The Jones Group Inc. (JNY): Engages in the design, marketing, and wholesale of apparel, footwear, and accessories in the United States and Canada. Market cap of $824.98M. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 9.9M, which is 12.82% of the company's 77.22M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.9). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 11.61%.

7. Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN): Operates lifestyle specialty retail stores under the Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain, Leifsdottir, and BHLDN brands. Market cap of $4.01B. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 11.1M, which is 11.48% of the company's 96.65M share float. The stock has lost 31.89% over the last year.

8. Limited Brands, Inc. (LTD): Operates as a retailer of women's intimate and other apparel, beauty and personal care products, and accessories in the United States and Canada. Market cap of $11.89B. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 20.3M, which is 8.28% of the company's 245.05M share float. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 11.45%.

9. WMS Industries Inc. (WMS-OLD): Engages in the design, manufacture, and distribution of games, video and mechanical reel-spinning gaming machines, and video lottery terminals (VLTs) for the legalized gaming industry worldwide. Market cap of $1.10B. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 4.1M, which is 7.57% of the company's 54.17M share float. The stock has lost 54.74% over the last year.

10. Wet Seal Inc. (WTSLA): Operates stores that sell fashionable and contemporary apparel and accessory items designed for female customers. Market cap of $292.25M. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 5.7M, which is 7.31% of the company's 77.98M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 14.09% (equivalent to 6.05 days of average volume). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 29.01%.

11. Jos. A Bank Clothiers Inc. (JOSB): Design, retails, and direct-markets men's tailored and casual clothing and accessories. Market cap of $1.45B. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 1.8M, which is 6.55% of the company's 27.48M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 15.34% (equivalent to 13.55 days of average volume). The stock has gained 16.18% over the last year.

12. The Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW): Engages in the development, manufacture, distribution, and sale of paints, coatings, and related products primarily in North and South America, the Caribbean region, Europe, and Asia. Market cap of $8.68B. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 5.3M, which is 6.20% of the company's 85.44M share float. The stock has gained 14.7% over the last year.

13. Warnaco Group Inc. (WRC): Designs, sources, markets, licenses, and distributes a range of intimate apparel, sportswear, and swimwear worldwide. Market cap of $1.94B. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 2.4M, which is 6.04% of the company's 39.73M share float. The stock has lost 9.7% over the last year.

14. G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. (GIII): Designs, manufactures, imports, and markets a range of outerwear and sportswear apparel to retailers primarily in the United States. Market cap of $357.62M. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 823.6K, which is 5.96% of the company's 13.83M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.57). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 10.17% (equivalent to 5.83 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 8.55% over the last week.

15. Chico's FAS Inc. (CHS): Operates as a specialty retailer of casual-to-dressy clothing, intimates, complementary accessories, and other non-clothing gift items. Market cap of $1.72B. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 8.5M, which is 5.17% of the company's 164.43M share float. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading 12.73% below its SMA20, 14.9% below its SMA50, and 24.59% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 9.44% over the last week.

*Data from 11/25. Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 15 Retailers Being Exited By Hedge Funds