Thursday, October 8, 2009

Retailers, X'mas Finally?

U.S. retail sales rose for the first time in 13 month. Based on results from 24 retailers, 16 beat Wall Street estimates, and another six are due to report, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Same-store sales for September increased 5.5 percent over a year ago. The sales figures far exceeded an estimate of a 0.1 percent same-store sales increase, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Same-store sales for the period were up 1%, while analysts had expected a 0.6% drop.

BJ's Wholesale Club Inc.

The company said same-store sales fell 0.5% in September, due to a large drop in gas prices. Excluding that, merchandise comparable-store sales rose 5.5%, helped by a shift in pre-holiday sales for Labor Day into the month from August last year. Analysts, on average, had expected overall same-store sales to fall 1%, according to Thomson Reuters

JC Penney
The departmental store saw its sales at stores open 12 months or longer decline 1.4 percent in September, but that was better than the company’s forecast of a three to six percent drop.

Same-store sales fell 2.3 percent, half as much as analysts anticipated. Its shares rose 2.7 percent to $19.10 in premarket trading.

Neiman Marcus

The upscale retailer saw its same-store sales fall 16.9 percent in the five-week period ending in early October.

Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie saw same-store sales drop 18 percent, but that was better than the 21 percent decline predicted by analysts. Its shares rose 4.6 percent to $34.15.

Aeropostale, Inc.  reported a 19% jump in same-store sales for September. The results easily surpassed analysts' expectations for an increase of 12.4%

Gap Inc's sales fell more than anticipated, but its shares rose 3 percent after the company said margins came in significantly above last year.


Limited, whose chains include Victoria's Secret, posted a 1 percent increase in sales at stores open at least a year. Analysts expected a 2.4 percent decline.

Childern's Place
Children's Place Retail Stores Inc also reported an unexpected 4 percent rise in comparable sales. The results were aided by strong growth online, which the company includes in that figure.

Aeropostale Inc, American Eagle Outfitters Inc and Gymboree Corp raised their quarterly profit forecasts. Still, not all of the gains are coming from stronger sales. Gymboree's optimism stemmed mainly from inventory control and taking fewer markdowns.

Hot Topic
Hot Topic reported a 4% decrease in September, above analysts' expectations of a 6.3% decline.

A specialty retailer of sports-related apparel, footwear and accessories for teens and young adults - reported its same-store sales dropped 0.8% in September, better than Wall Street's projection of a 1% decline. It was Zumiez's smallest decline in over a year.

In-store flu vaccinations helped Walgreen Co (WAG.N), the largest U.S. drugstore chain, post on Friday a better-than-expected 5.3 percent jump in September sales at its stores open at least a year. At Walgreen, pharmacy same-store sales rose 7 percent while same-store sales of general merchandise rose 2 percent.

Analysts, on average, expected a 3 percent rise in overall same-store sales, with pharmacy same-store sales up 4 percent and general merchandise same-store sales up 0.4 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Barnes & Noble

The bookstore is currently in its second quarter, from August 2 to October 31, and expects comparable store sales to drop 1 percent to 3 percent for the period. For its new fiscal year 2010, from May 3 2009 to May 1 2010, it expects same-store sales to fall between 2 percent to 4 percent.

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