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Tue, Feb. 9, 9:54 AM
- Cowen and Company says Ross Stores (ROST +1.1%) is an alluring pick in the retail sector if the economy heads into a recession.
- Analysts also note that Ross doesn't have the global exposure of other higher-end retailers and benefits from higher employment rates in the U.S.
- Cowen has ROST rated at Outperform with a price target of $63.
Thu, Feb. 4, 11:23 AM
- The retail sector is struggling after Kohl's issues soft guidance and with several reports from store chains (Cato, Zumiez, Fred's) tipping weak January traffic.
- Department store decliners include J.C. Penney (JCP -3.1%), Macy's (M -2.7%), Nordstrom (JWN -5.6%), and Dillard's (DDS -1.3%). While mall names Gap (GPS -1.4%), American Eagle Outfitters (AEO -1.6%), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF -2.2%), Children's Place (PLCE -3.1%), and Carter's (CRI -1.9%) are also weak compared to the broad market.
- Target (TGT -3%), Costco (COST -2.8%), and Wal-Mart (WMT -1%) are also lower. Earlier today. Costco reported a +1% comp in the U.S. for January.
- Discount-leaning Fred's (FRED -8.7%), Dollar Tree (DLTR -3.1%), Dollar General (DG -1.6%), Big Lots (BIG -3%), Five Below (FIVE -2.9%), TJX Companies (TJX -2.2%), and Ross Stores (ROST -1.2%) are also feeling a pinch.
Sat, Jan. 9, 10:47 AM
- The success of the retail sector during the holiday season came into focus after a number of chains issued their holiday sales reports last week and research firms weighed in with data-driven analysis.
- Lesson #1 - Early and late: 25% of all shoppers purchased a Christmas present before Halloween, while the Black Friday to Cyber Monday period disappointed. A late flurry of shopping was a boon for many large retail chains, as well as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), FedEx (NYSE:FDX), and UPS (NYSE:UPS). Trading around anecdotal reports of Black Friday traffic now looks like an exercise in futility.
- Lesson #2 - Women over men: Sales of women's apparel were strong during the two-month period, up 10%, while demand for men's apparel tailed off significantly. A microcosm of the trend is the +8% comp reported by L Brands (NYSE:LB) - while The Men's Wearhouse (NYSE:MW) is in a -72% 3-month funk. The disastrous performance in the electronics category (BBY, CONN, HGG) reinforces the trend.
- Lesson #3 - The sweet spot of retail was in the middle: Luxury sellers (COH, KORS, RL, TIF) had a weak holiday season as F/X challenges and lackluster Asian tourism factored in, while discounters also were scrambling due to a high level of promotional activity. The $2-gas benefit seemed to help in the middle where Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Target (NYSE:TGT), Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST), TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX), and The Children's Place (NASDAQ:PLCE) set up shop.
- Lesson #4 - No slowdown in online : Holiday online sales rose 20% Y/Y. Brands such as Ulta Salon (NASDAQ:ULTA) and Victoria's Secret that sell easily through e-commerce channels are well-positioned to benefit from the trend, although for a large part of the apparel sector the e-commerce mix is a margin cruncher. Just ask Gap (NYSE:GPS), Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN), and American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO).
- Sources: Planalytics.com, Chain Store Age, company holiday sales reports
Thu, Jan. 7, 10:14 AM
- A large number of retail stocks are defying the global market sell-off to put in strong gains.
- The unexpected strength follows a few store chains reporting solid holiday sales growth, headlined by L Brands with a stellar 8% comp. The underlying story behind the good read may be that $2 gas prices are helping to feed consumer spending at U.S. store chains.
- Gasbuddy.com forecasts gas prices will stay low in the U.S. for all of 2016.
- Notable gainers include Wal-Mart (WMT +2%), Target (TGT +1%), Gap (GPS +2.3%), Fred's (FRED +1.2%), Express (EXPR +1.1%), American Eagle Outfitters (AEO +1.6%), Tilly's (TLYS +2.3%), Urban Outfitters (URBN +4%), TJX Companies (TJX +0.6%), Ross Stores (ROST +1.6%), Kohl's (KSS +2%), Stein Mart (SMRT +4.4%), Citi Trends (CTRN +1.7%), Buckle (BKE +4.8%).
- Related ETFs: XLP, XLY, VDC, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXG, FXD, FDIS, RHS, FSTA, RCD, PMR, BITE
Dec. 21, 2015, 7:59 AM
- Cowen and Company upgrades Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) to an Outperform rating after having the retailer set at Market Perform.
- Shares of Ross Stores have decoupled from the direction of the S&P Retail ETF over the last month, increasing almost 8% amid retail weakness.
- Ross Stores is a traditional investor bet on low gas prices.
- Cowen sets a price target of $65 on ROST.
- Previously: U.S. gasoline drops below $2/gallon (Dec. 20 2015)
Dec. 10, 2015, 10:49 AM
- The winners of the Seeking Alpha retail contest were announced earlier today.
- 1st place was taken down by Ariana Research with a bullish thesis on Canadian store chain Reitmans (OTCPK:RTMAF).
- 2nd place landed with Ian Bezek for his rationale on why PriceSmart (NASDAQ:PSMT) will fall.
- 3rd place was claimed by Spy Hill Research for a bearish article on Loblaw Companies (OTCPK:LBLCF).
- 4th place went to Shaun Currie with a short take on Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST).
- Pro subscribers can access the full articles.
- Other long ideas on the retail sector which made the list of finalists included positive spins on Biglari Holdings (NYSE:BH), Pier One Imports (NYSE:PIR), Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL), amd Buckle (NYSE:BKE).
Dec. 4, 2015, 10:29 AM
- Economists think that the combination of a stronger U.S. jobs environment and sub-$2 gas prices could improve some consumer spending habits, although not as much for traditional big box retailers, apparel chains, and electronics stores as for specialty retailers selling lower-end personal care, housing, and decor items. Though middle-income and low-income consumers continue to be thrifty with major purchases (logo apparel, gadgets), there have been signs in recent earnings reports of strength in everyday items such as shampoo, mattresses, and underwear.
- That trend could benefit a variety of chain stores with an U.S. focus including Five Below (NASDAQ:FIVE), Ulta Salon (NASDAQ:ULTA), TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX), Dollar General (NYSE:DG), Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST), Kirkland's (NASDAQ:KIRK), Sally Beauty Holdings (NYSE:SBH), Michaels Companies (NASDAQ:MIK), Party City (NYSE:PRTY), and even Mattress Firm (NASDAQ:MFRM).
- The bump in consumer staples spending could provide a lift to Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB), and Clorox (NYSE:CLX) as well for the U.S. side of their business.
- Related ETFs: XLP, VDC, FXG, RHS, FSTA, PSL, PSCC
Nov. 20, 2015, 9:17 AM
Nov. 19, 2015, 5:35 PM
Nov. 19, 2015, 4:13 PM
- Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) reports a 3% gain in comparable-store sales in Q3. The sales growth was ahead of most peers, although TJX turned a 5% comp for a similar period.
- The company's operating margin was up 30 bps to 12.1% on improved merchandise margins.
- Store count +82 Y/Y to 1,448.
- Guidance: Ross Stores sees Q4 EPS of $0.60 to $0.63 vs. $0.64 consensus.
- Previously: Ross Stores beats by $0.03, beats on revenue (Nov. 19)
- ROST +6.1% after hours.
Nov. 19, 2015, 4:02 PM
- Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST): Q3 EPS of $0.53 beats by $0.03.
- Revenue of $2.78B (+6.9% Y/Y) beats by $10M.
- Shares +3.4%.
Nov. 18, 2015, 6:18 PM
- Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) declares $0.1175/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
- Forward yield 1.01%
- Payable Dec. 31; for shareholders of record Dec. 9; ex-div Dec. 7.
Nov. 18, 2015, 5:35 PM
Nov. 13, 2015, 1:09 PM
- Retailers are under pressure after the Census Bureau reported October retail sales rose 0.1% M/M, and core retail sales 0.2%. Consensus was respectively 0.3% and 0.4%.
- Also: J.C. Penney is down 13.6% in spite of posting a Q3 beat and reiterating its full-year same-store growth guidance, and Nordstrom is down 15.4% after missing FQ3 estimates and cutting its FY16 guidance.
- In addition to Target, TJX, Macy's, and Kohl's (previously covered), notable decliners include Ross (ROST -5.7%), Skechers (SKX -3.9%), Michael Kors (KORS -4.8%), Deckers (DECK -4.2%), Gap (GPS -4.1%), Ascena Retail (ASNA -4.6%), American Eagle (AEO -4.5%), Urban Outfitters (URBN -4.8%), Stein Mart (SMRT -5.4%), Citi Trends (CTRN -4.4%), Guess (GES -5.9%), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF -5.7%), Chico's FAS (CHS -4.3%), and New York & Company (NWY -6%).
- Retail stocks were also under pressure on Wednesday after Macy's cut its 2015 guidance.
- ETFs: IYK, PEJ, IYC, SCC, UGE, SZK, XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXD, FDIS, RCD, PMR
Nov. 10, 2015, 8:31 PM
- The headaches continue for a large part of the retail sector impacted by a slower pace of sales than anticipated this fall.
- Warmer weather than normal have held back outerwear and winter clothing demand, while mall traffic continues to be underwhelming.
- The high level of unsold inventory on shelves at retail chains is likely to lead to more promotions and discounts heading into the crucial Black Friday period, observes the WSJ. That trend could hurt manufacturers and sellers alike.
- Related ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, IYK, FXD, PEJ, FDIS, RCD, PMR, UGE, SZK.
- Related stocks: FL, FINL, KORS, COH, DSW, DKS, SKX, JCP, M, SHLD, KSS, JWN, TJX, ROST, BONT, AEO, ANF, ARO, CAL, CROX, SMRT, BKE, CTRN, GPS, LB, RL, PVH.
Oct. 22, 2015, 9:29 AM| Oct. 22, 2015, 9:29 AM
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