retail stocks

Retail Stocks That Can Thrive in a Down Economy

Fund manager Neil Hennessy believes investors should target retail stocks that are likely to thrive in slow-growth economic conditions -- but which also stand to benefit when the economy picks up again. Here are some of his favorites.

Face-Off on Stocks: Costco, BJ's, Wal-Mart

Retail stocks tend to rise ahead of other sectors in the early stages of an economic recovery, and so far, following a familiar pattern, both up-market and discount chains have benefited at the expense of middle-market players. So is this the time to buy stock in wholesale clubs?

Up or Down: 5 Retailing Leaders -- and 5 Laggards

Some merchants adjusted quickly to the "new normal" of penny-pinching shoppers, but others are still struggling with shrinking consumer budgets or headwinds they were fighting before the bottom fell out. Here's a look at the two groups that are going in two different directions.

Costco Earnings Rise on Overseas Strength

Costco Wholesale Corp (COST) reported earnings of 97 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Aug. 29, compared with 85 cents per diluted share a year earlier. Net sales rose to $23.59 billion, from $21.89 billion a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Comparable sales rose 6% from a year earlier, driven by strong international growth.

Gas and Autos Pumped Up July's Retail Sales Rise

Investors may get some relief from strong gasoline and auto sales, which helped lift retail overall and should ease some fears of a double-dip recession. Excluding gas and autos, most segments showed good year-over-year gains and small but as-expected month-over-month rises.

Retail Sales Need a
Back-to-School Cram Session

For retailers, this year's back-to-school shopping season is scraping by with a B-minus at midterm. But with some big weeks still to come, there's hope that this year's results will be positive.

Face-Off on Stocks: Dividend-Paying Retail Plays

Retailers posted mixed results for June same-store sales, with some big surprises -- Abercrombie & Fitch -- and some major disappointments -- Target. Take a look at the bull and bear arguments for some retail stock picks.

Retailers Aren't Giving Investors Reasons to Buy

Industry sales in June were just slightly below estimates. But the variations among specific retailers were fairly broad, and few companies are offering better guidance for the second quarter, leaving investors little to get excited about.

Family Dollar Stores Quarterly Profit Jumps 19%

Discount retailer Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (FDO) said profit in the third quarter of fiscal 2010 rose 19% from a year earlier. Net income was $104.4 million, or 77 cents per diluted share, for the quarter. Sales for the quarter gained 8.4% to $1.997 billion, with comparable store sales rising 7%, the company said in a statement. The value of the average transaction at the company%u2019s stores was flat.

An Overlooked Bargain: 99 Cents Only Stores

The deep-discount chain is one of the most ignored stocks in retailing. Investors who pay no attention, however, are missing a company in the midst of a strong turnaround -- and with solid prospects for coming years.

Retail Stocks Could Be Getting
a Markdown

Merchants are expected to report lukewarm May sales. Chilly weather early and a late Memorial Day will make the month's sales an erratic gauge of retail's recovery -- and leave an opening for bargain-hunting investors.

Earnings Preview: Gap and Limited Brands

Wall Street is hoping profits are back in style when two specialty retailing biggies -- Victoria's Secret parent Limited Brands and Gap Inc. -- report fourth-quarter results. Both are forecast to post improved earnings after a year of maneuvering to boost profit margins despite lower sales.

Sears Holdings Earnings Jump on Kmart Sales

Easily beating analysts' estimates, the parent of Sears and Kmart stores posted net income of $430 million for the quarter, or $3.74 per share, up from $190 million in the 2008 period. But while Kmart sales perked up, those at Sears stores still lag.

Preview: Sears, Kohl's and Target Have Plenty to Prove

Investors will be closely watching these three midprice and discount department stores when they report earnings this week for signs that they're ready to show some real sales and profit growth this year -- and not just through cost-cutting.

Wal-Mart's Sales Disappoint, Rebound Planned

Although the retailing behemoth reported strong profit growth, sales at stores open for a year or more dropped 1.2%. And guidance for the first quarter remains tepid. But company execs say they have a series of plans that aim to turn that around. Investors will be watching.

Simon Offers $10 Billion for Rival General Growth

Simon Property Group, the world's largest shopping mall operator, wants to buy its General Growth Properties, its biggest competitor, which is currently working its way through bankruptcy. Simon is prepared to pay $7 billion to General Growth's creditors and $3 billion to shareholders.

A Revived Macy's Is Priced Right

One giant retailer that's likely to attract a lot of shoppers over the President's Day weekend is Macy's, which has vastly improved the quality of many of its products and stores, and the efficiency of its services over the past couple of years.

Giant Wal-Mart
Is Hugely Undervalued

File under "missed opportunity": Wal-Mart is particularly notable now for so far missing out on this year's massive bull rally. But don't make the mistake of thinking that this heavyweight is a has-been.