Retail Sales Lose Some Steam in September

Andrew Klips  |

The 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.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer.

Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
BKE Buckle Inc. (The) 25.98 -0.54 -2.04 528,016 Trade
JWN Nordstrom Inc. 38.38 -1.31 -3.30 2,774,950 Trade
TGT Target Corporation 127.22 -0.30 -0.24 2,970,366 Trade
TJX TJX Companies Inc. (The) 60.37 -0.49 -0.81 3,525,511 Trade
COST Costco Wholesale Corporation 291.87 -5.47 -1.84 5,204,305 Trade
M Macy's Inc 15.18 -0.53 -3.37 17,288,599 Trade
ROST Ross Stores Inc. 115.49 -0.96 -0.82 1,319,210 Trade
KSS Kohl's Corporation 48.28 -0.84 -1.71 2,858,555 Trade
GPS Gap Inc. (The) 16.69 -0.33 -1.94 6,071,540 Trade
SSI Stage Stores Inc. 5.21 -1.25 -19.35 2,668,427 Trade
JCP J.C. Penney Company Inc. 1.11 -0.02 -1.77 4,981,349 Trade
ZUMZ Zumiez Inc. 32.01 -1.67 -4.96 695,072 Trade
WMT Walmart Inc. 120.29 0.53 0.44 5,366,863 Trade

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