Many retailers' March sales numbers came out this morning:
- WalMart Inc. February same-store sales were up 4%, vs. analyst estimates of 1.6%. Total sales rose 11.7% to $34.3b. The company said that "while the earnings guidance ($0.68-0.71) is still attainable, given the tough sales environment for the April period, it will be a challenge."
- Costco comparable store sales rose 6% vs. analyst estimates of 4.7%. Total sales rose 11% to $5.94 billion.
- Gap same-store sales rose 6%, vs. analyst estimates of -1.1%. Total sales jumped 16% to $1.56b. The company said spring clearances at Gap and Banana Republic stores helped but resulted in lower margins.
- Target Corp. same-store sales were up 12%. Total sales rose 17% to $5.59b.
- Limited Brands Inc. same-store sales were up 8%, vs. estimates of a 6.6% rise. Total sales climbed from $788m to $892m.
- Abercrombie & Fitch same-store sales climbed 7%, vs. estimates of 2.4%. Total sales jumped 29% to $331m.
- Federated Department Stores same-store sales climbed 2.3%, vs. consensus estimates of 3.3%. Total sales were 1.5% higher to $2.29 billion.
- J.C. Penney Company Inc. sales at department stores open at least one year rose 10.6%, vs. analyst estimates of a 7.5%. Total sales rose 13.3% to $1.44 billion.
- Kohl's Corp. same-store sales jumped 16%. Total sales climbed 25.4% to $1.55b.
- TJX Companies Inc. same-store sales/sales at stores open at least a year rose 6%, vs. analyst estimates of 4.6%. Total sales rose 11% to $1.7b. It said it continued "to have great liquidity" in its inventories.
- Pacific Sunwear same-store sales rose 14.1% vs. analyst estimates of 3.4%. Total sales jumped 18% to $140 million.
- Cache Inc. said Tuesday sales for stores open at least one year were flat. Total sales fell 0.7% to $29.1m.
- Bebe Stores Inc. same-store sales rose 0.1% vs. analyst estimates of 4%.
- Nordstrom Inc. same-store sales rose 15% vs. analyst estimates of an 8.2% gain. Total sales were up 14% to $803m.
- Claire's stores comparable store sales increased 8% vs. analyst estimates of 3.1%. Total sales rose 17% to $136.6 million.
- Saks Inc. same-store sales rose 10%, vs. estimates of 13%. Total sales were up to $284 million from $253 million.
- American Eagle Outfitters Inc. same-store sales rose 20%, vs. analyst estimates of 11.1%. Total sales surged 35% to $271.5 million. It adjusted its Q1 profit forecast from $0.34 to $0.35 vs. analyst estimates of $0.33.
- Sharper Image Corp. same-store sales fell 29%, vs. analyst forecasts for a 20% drop. Total sales fell 45% to $22 million. It is the company's 29th straight month in decline.
- Aeropostale Inc. same-store sales rose 15.9%, vs. estimates of 8%. Total sales jumped 31.5% to $125m.
- Bon-Ton Stores same-store sales rose 0.6%, vs. flat estimates. Total sales went from $244 million to $288 million.
- Cato Corp. same-store sales rose 7%. Total sales gained 13% to $95 million.
- Dollar General same-store sales rose 5.5%, vs. analyst estimates of 5.4%. Total sales increased 8.7% to $905 million.
- Ross Stores sales at stores open at least a year rose 6%, vs. estimates of 4.6%. Total sales increased 14% to $599m.
- Children's Place Retail Stores sales at stores open at least one year rose 7% vs. 6% analyst estimates. Total sales were up 18% to $204.7 million.
- Gottschalks same-store sales were up 6.4%. Total sales increased 5.3% to $59 million.
- Ann Taylor Stores same-store sales rose 6.1%, vs. consensus estimates of 1.3%. Total sales were up 14.8% to $244 million.
- Gymboree same-store sales were up 9%, vs. analysts' estimates of 5.8%. Total sales rose 20% to $92 million.
- Family Dollar Stores same-store sales were up 5.8%, vs. estimates of 3.9%. Total sales increased 9.6% to $651 million.
The Thomson Financial Same Store Sales Index estimate is for a 4.1% gain in overall same-store sales, vs. the 1.8% growth of March 2006. Excluding Wal-Mart, same-store sales are forecasted to climb 6.1% vs. a 2.2% gain a year earlier.
Sources: Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (PSUN), Cache Inc. (CACH), bebe stores inc. (BEBE), Nordstrom Inc. (JWN), Claire's Stores Inc. (CLE), Limited Brands Inc. (LTD), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST), Saks Inc. (SKS), American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (AEOS), Sharper Image Corp. (SHRP), J.C. Penney Company Inc. (JCP), Federated Department Stores Inc. (FD), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF), Aeropostale Inc. (ARO), Bon-Ton Stores Inc. (BONT), Cato Corp. (CTR), Target Corp. (TGT), TJX Companies Inc. (TJX), Kohl's Corp. (KSS), Dollar General Corp. (DG), Ross Stores Inc. (ROST), AnnTaylor Stores Corp. (ANN), The Children's Place Retail Stores Inc. (PLCE), Gottschalks Inc. (GOT), Gymboree Corp. (GYMB), Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO)
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