Retailers in the on-deck circle

Here are 4 stocks to watch this week as earnings season winds down.

By Stock Traders Daily May 14, 2012 12:16PM
Image: woman swiping a credit card © Rubberball/Mike Kemp/Rubberball/Getty ImagesWe are now entering the tail end of the first-quarter earnings season, and there are still several prominent retail companies that have yet to report their quarterly results.

In the coming days, traders will be able to gain a greater deal of insight into the health of their operations. Here are four stocks to watch this week.


Target. Prior to the market open on Wednesday, Target (TGT) is slated to check in with its first-quarter results. The consensus among analysts is that the company will announce a 2% advance in EPS versus its year-ago quarter. Total revenue is expected to increase by 5.6% over the same time period.


Target recently said that its comparable store sales for Q1 were up 5.3% over the company's Q1 in 2011. The company has benefited from both warm weather and an early Easter this year. Target shareholders have seen the value of their investment appreciate by 8.2% year-to-date.


Staples. Also reporting its quarterly results on Wednesday is the office supply retailer Staples (SPLS). The company is expected to report a 7.1% improvement in quarterly earnings per share (EPS) on a slight uptick in total revenue. Shares of Staples are up 7.4% since the beginning of the year.


Sears. On Thursday, Sears Holding (SHLD) is expected to announce the results of its first-quarter. Wall Street does not have high hopes for the retailer. It is expected that the company will report a loss of $0.67 per share on a 5.7% decline in total sales on a year-over-year basis.


Sears has seen its appliance and consumer electronics lines struggle, but its apparel and footwear categories have prospered in recent months. Last month, the company closed on a deal to sell eleven properties to General Growth Properties for $270 million.


Shares of Sears have surged 72.1% since the beginning of the year, but have come back down to earth more recently. The stock is down 7.1% over the course of the past thirty days.


Abercrombie & Fitch. One other retailer that traders should monitor prior to its Q1 earnings announcement before the opening bell on Wednesday is Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF). Analysts are predicting that the company will announce EPS of $0.02 versus $0.27 in the prior year quarter. Total revenue is expected to rise by 13.7%. Abercrombie's stock price has fallen 4.6% so far this year.




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