February retail sales showed solid consumer spending, with both high- and low-end department stores faring well (interactive list) and full-price purchases boding well for spring merchandise. So if sales were so great, why are retail stocks (RTH) lagging today? Among the reasons: Fewer retailers are reporting monthly numbers - three biggies just stopped this month.
Jan. same-store sales (actual vs. Briefing.com estimate), update #2: ANF -4% vs. -1.9%. ARO +1% vs. -3.2%. DDS +6% vs. +1.3%. HOTT -3.3% vs. -1.8%. LTD +24% vs. +6.9%. SSI +5.1% vs. +2.3%. 2 misses, 4 beats.
A setback for investors in "A" teen retailers Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), Aeropostale (ARO) and American Eagle (AEO) as the companies say they're dropping monthly sales reports. Other apparel chains (ANN, CHS, PSUN) have done the same in the past few years, but the move often coincides with decreased sales.
Dec. same-store sales (actual vs. Briefing.com estimate), update #2: ANF +15% vs. +10.1%. ARO -5% vs. -3.1%. AEO -11% vs. -1.8%. BONT +0.1% vs. +2.3%. DDS +7% vs. +2.4%. FRED +0.2% vs. +1.4%. GPS -8% vs. +2.4%. M +3.9% vs. +4.6%. 6 misses, 2 beats.
American Eagle (AEO) is -4.5% after getting downgraded to Neutral by Susquehanna analysts who expect American Eagle's shares to enter "a holding pattern with no meaningful catalyst to drive near-term appreciation.” Rivals are down too: ARO -2.2%, ANF -1.4%.
Teen apparel retailer Aeropostale (ARO) has hired Barclays as a strategic adviser to prepare a takeover defense in case it is approached by private equity firms, NY Post reports. "Management is in this for the long haul, and they want the company to stay public," according to a source. ARO +4.1% premarket.
Nov. same-store sales (actual vs. Briefing.com estimate), update #1: ARO -1% vs. +0.6%. BONT +2.9% vs. +2.5%. BKE +7.9% vs. +3.5%. CATO +5% vs. +2%. COST +9% vs. +6.3%. FRED +4.7% vs. +3.5%. HOTT -2.1% vs. -4%. 1 miss, 6 beats.
Oct. same-store sales (actual vs. Briefing.com estimate), update #1: ANF +2% vs. +5.6%. ARO -2% vs. +3.2%. AEO -2% vs. +1.6%. BJ +3.7% vs. +2.5%. BONT -4.2% vs. +1.3%. BKE +2.6% vs. +0.1%. COST +6% vs. +4.7%. 4 misses, 3 beats.
Leveraged buyouts are experiencing a resurgence as cash-rich P-E firms hunt for investments. Barron's picked its top dozen LBO candidates, looking at firms with modest debt that trade for reasonable multiples of earnings and pretax cash flow. The targeted twelve: EBAY, DELL, YHOO, GPS, FIS, SWY, CSC, WDC, WHR, STX, GME, ARO.