Retail Sales Lose Some Steam in September

Andrew Klips |

Retail Sales Lose Some Steam in SeptemberThe markets are modestly ahead in early trading as traders seem to be leaning on the European Central Bank providing a tent pole for the euro zone. Applications for first time job benefits were basically in line with economists’ predictions, so the market buoying slightly green is not getting a big influence there. Traders looking to the holiday shopping season were greeted with a slew of same-store sales (sales at stores open at least one year) data from September that mildly disappointed in some cases, but surprised in others.

Analysts were anticipating overall sales to rise 1.6 percent in September, but sales from reporting companies only rose by 0.8 percent. With the back-to-school rush that registered strong sales at retailers now over, September is a bit of a breathing period for shoppers. However, Wall Street was hoping to see a bit better performance to lend credence to consumers opening their wallets during the upcoming holidays.

A snapshot of some of the leading brands that provided information on comparable store sales this morning:

Kohl's Corp. (KSS) reported that same-store sales dropped 2.7%, outpacing the 0.2% decrease that was expected.

Buckle Inc. (BKE) said that same-store sales slid 0.8%, missing predictions of an increase of 1%.

Macy's Inc. (M) said same-store sales increased by 2.7% on sales of $2.36 billion. Analysts were calling for a climb of 3.3 percent.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) posted a 5% rise in U.S. same-store sales (minus gasoline). Experts were expected a rise of 5.1%.

Target Corp. (TGT) narrowly missed estimates with a 2.1% growth compared to the 2.2% growth expected. The U.S’s second biggest discount retailer also said that in 2013 it will no longer report monthly same store sales, following a trend of some peers like Wal-Mart (WMT), Saks Inc. (SKS) and J.C. Penney Co. (JCP).

Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) saw a rise in sales of 4.4%, against predictions of 5% growth.

Gap Inc. (GPS) has been a standout in beating analysts and continued that course in reporting same store sales growth of 6%, topping expectations of a 5.3% increase.

Limited Brands Inc. (LTD) also topped estimates by posting 5% same store sales gains, contrasted to a 4.3% called-for by analysts.

Stage Stores Inc. (SSI) reported an 11.1% rise in same-store sales when a 2.7% gain was expected.

Wet Seal Inc. (WTSLA) posted a large decline of 12.7%, but that was still better than the 15.5% drop that Wall Street expected.

TJX Cos. (TJX) reported a 6% increase in same-store sales, topping expectations for growth of 4.5%.

Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) said same-store sales rose 5%. Analysts were expecting a 4.3% rise.

Zumiez Inc. (ZUMZ) reported a 5.6% rise in same-store sales when 3.1% was expected.

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Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
BKE Buckle Inc. (The) 24.61 -0.39 -1.56 182,764
COST Costco Wholesale Corporation 151.19 -1.34 -0.88 1,829,880
GPS Gap Inc. (The) 22.23 -0.39 -1.72 3,820,328
JCP J.C. Penney Company Inc. Holding Company 9.57 -0.21 -2.15 8,395,080
JWN Nordstrom Inc. 51.50 -0.07 -0.14 3,211,796
KSS Kohl\'s Corporation 42.68 -0.68 -1.57 3,236,155
M Macys Inc. 36.24 -0.38 -1.04 6,223,707
ROST Ross Stores Inc. 63.76 -0.50 -0.78 1,762,763
SSI Stage Stores Inc. 5.48 -0.11 -1.97 156,138
TGT Target Corporation 67.22 -1.55 -2.25 6,865,573
TJX TJX Companies Inc. (The) 75.18 -0.84 -1.11 2,995,927
WMT Wal-Mart Stores Inc. 71.62 -0.73 -1.01 5,913,252
ZUMZ Zumiez Inc. 17.50 -0.19 -1.07 283,370

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