Picking a winner among retail stocks
As a group, most are struggling. But one in particular has good prospects and plenty of upside from its current price.
Companies ranging from Wal-Mart (WMT) to Macy’s (M) to Kohl’s (KSS) have all reported disappointing results over the last week or so, and their stocks have faltered. Consumers, it seems, are keeping a tight grip on their wallets as they head into the second-most-critical period for retailers behind the December holidays.Their unease is reflected in unexpected drop in consumer confidence for August as measured by the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index released on Friday.
However, the sell-offs in some of these stocks are overdone and present a buying opportunity. But which ones?
When choosing the right retail stocks, it's important to remember a few things. First, investors should separate Wal-Mart from the rest of the pack. The world's largest retailer is facing several unique problems, such as not having enough staff to keep the shelves stocked. Although its rivals are experiencing the same macroeconomic issues, they seem to be faring better than the Arkansas-based company.
For instance, the discount giant reported a 0.3% drop in U.S. same-store sales (sales in stores open for at least a year) in the most recent quarter. Analysts had expected a 0.9% increase. Kohl's, which also reported earnings on Thursday, had a 0.9% jump in that critical metric. And while Macy's same-store sales fell 0.8% in the most recent quarter, it expects to generate gains of 2% to 2.9% this year.
Wal-Mart shares are also kind of expensive, trading at a multiple of 14.52, a five-year high. Macy’s or Kohl's may be better alternatives along with retailers that cater to the wealthy, such as Tiffany (TIF), which have seen a surge in business.
Macy’s and Kohl's are indeed cheaper than Wal-Mart, trading at price-earnings ratios of 13.4 and 12.5, respectively. Analysts have an average price target on Macy's of $53.22, about 18% higher than where it recently traded. Kohl's is trading near its 52-week target of $52.35, but that price may prove overly conservative if economy doesn't falter significantly.
Tiffany, whose name has been synonymous with luxury for generations, is worth considering also. At least three analysts have $90 estimates on the stock, about 13% higher than where it recently traded. Plus, its latest earnings exceeded Wall Street estimates.
Of the stocks discussed here, the best buy now is Macy's, given its immediate upside potential. Investors can hold off on the rest until their prices come down some.
Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
the classic marketing question "who's your customer?" comes into play.
walmart, khols, lean toward the average person. who are sliding in the payscale as we speak. so they have cut back buying big time.
people are adjusting just how they buy things. used, thrift stores, yard sales, trading with friends. and recognizing they already have "enough" stuff.
Most of the retailers we see today are destined to fail in the future. When I was a kid there was no Wal mart, Target, Kohls... There was Disco, Unimart, Zodys, Fedmart, Fedco, Wards, WT Grant, May Company, Robinsons, Mervyns, Gottschalks, Troutmans and many others.
All of these large stores, many of them exactly like walmart, failed, gone forever. There were no bailouts for these guys. The dow kicks out any company with zero stock value like these stores and others, or even companies that aren't doing well to keep their phony rigged dow number always going up.
"All of these large stores, many of them exactly like walmart, failed, gone forever. The dow kicks out any company with zero stock value like these stores and others, or even ones that aren't doing well to keep their phony rigged dow number always going up."
Which should tell you precisely what is in store for today's retailers including Tiffany's. You have to be kidding... we are at the artificial pinnacle of materialism without a net. You tell me... will they be lining up outside Tiffany's the day after QE ends? Wal-Mart's flaw is basic education. People with little cash are learning you don't waste it on buying the same item repeatedly because it's too cheap to last long.
Looked hard at Kohls, and Walmart just seemed pricey....Never looked at the others..
Decided on Target (TGT) and Walgreens (WAG), wag for about the 3rd. or 4th. time.
YTD upside Tgt...15+%
Conagra....Cag....18+%.....CAG was the food play for consumers.
None of these are from inceptions(original buys) gains, which are somewhat better.
Although other retail may possibly have had more, you have to be happy or live with your picks.
Tobacco is another consumable, and that has had a terrific run..Sin as it may be, but a great upside.
Walgreens has been a steadfast performer, and a different retailer of sorts...
And was an enormous help in getting us through early part of Recession.
MORE ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Shares of Twitter surged 73 percent jumping from an IPO price of $26. In the month since the stock price has gained five cents.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.