Market Overview

Earnings Expectations for the Week of March 12 (URBN, ROST)

Things will quiet on the earnings front this week. Perhaps the two most prominent quarterly reports will come from retailers and S&P 500 components Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ: URBN) and Ross Stores (NASDAQ: ROST). Analysts on average expect both companies to post year-over-year revenue growth of more than 10%. But Urban Outfitters' per-share earnings are expected to have fallen, while those of Ross Stores have grown. The following is a closer look at what analysts are expecting from these two reports, as well as a quick day-by-day rundown of expectations for the week's other quarterly EPS results.

Urban Outfitters

Fiscal fourth-quarter 2012 earnings from Urban Outfitters are estimated to total $0.29 per share on revenues of $741.4 million in Monday's report. In the same quarter of last year, this Philadelphia-based retailer posted $0.45 per share earnings and sales of $668.4 million. The full-year forecast calls for EPS down 25.0% year over year to $1.20 but revenue up 9.1% to $2.5 billion. Note that both the quarterly and full-year EPS estimates are eight cents lower than they were 60 days ago. The company fell short of the consensus EPS forecast in two of the past eight quarters.

See also: Urban Outfitters Reputation Clean Up Necessary, Former CEO to the Rescue

Ross Stores

Analysts expect that Ross Stores' fourth-quarter EPS will have risen 19.7% year over year to $0.86 per share. That estimate is three cents higher than it was 60 days ago. And this Pleasanton, Calif.-based off-price retailer has not fallen short of analysts' EPS estimates in the past eight quarters. The revenue forecast for the quarter calls for $2.4 billion, or 11.2% higher than in the same period of last year. And the full-year forecast calls for EPS to have grown 19.5% from a year ago to $2.87 and for sales to have increased 9.3% to $8.6 billion.

See also: Top 4 Stocks in the Apparel Stores Industry with the Highest Revenue

The Week's Other Reports

On Monday, American States Water (NYSE: AWR), Antares Pharma (NYSE: AIS), Carmike Cinemas (NASDAQ: CKEC) and Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) are expected to report higher per-share earnings than a year ago. Fourth-quarter net losses are anticipated from Alexza Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALXA) and American Midstream Partners (NYSE: AMID).

Tuesday's anticipated earnings gainers include clean coal technology company ADA-ES (NASDAQ: ADES), Factset Research Systems (NYSE: FDS), GeoEye (NASDAQ: GEOY), Raven Industries (NASDAQ: RAVN), Rex American Resources (NYSE: REX) and X-Rite (NASDAQ: XRIT). The consensus forecasts for Ebix (NASDAQ: EBIX), Saga Communications (NYSE: SGA) and Dutch telecom VimpelCom (NYSE: VIP) call for EPS lower than in the same periods of last year. And analysts are looking for net losses from Broadwind Energy (NASDAQ: BWEN), Infinity Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INFI) and Pacific Sunwear of California (NASDAQ: PSUN).

Then Wednesday, Callon Petroleum (NYSE: CPE), EnergySolutions (NYSE: ES), GeoResources (NASDAQ: GEOI), rue21 (NASDAQ: RUE) and Vera Bradley (NASDAQ: VRA) are expected to report year-over-year earnings growth for the most recent quarter. EPS from Central Vermont Public Service (NYSE: CV) and Chinese meat producer Zhongpin (NASDAQ: HOGS) are expected to be the same as a year ago. Lower per-share earnings are forecast for online forex broker FXCM (NSYE: FXCM) and jeans purveyor Guess? (NYSE: GES).

Analysts are looking for earnings growth from AMC Networks (NASDAQ: AMCX) and retailer Cato (NYSE: CATO) on Thursday. Casual Male Retail Group (NASDAQ: CMRG) and Winnebago Industries (NYSE: WGO) are expected to post earnings declines. And net losses are anticipated from Beijing-based IFM Investment (NYSE: CTC) and TravelCenters of America (NYSE: TA).

And then to end of the week, look for net losses from Chinese solar cell makers ReneSola (NYSE: SOL) and China Sunergy (NASDAQ: CSUN).

Next Week

On tap for the week of March 19 are quarterly results from Discover Financial (NYSE: DFS), FedEx (NYSE: FDX), General Mills (NYSE: GIS), Nike (NYSE: NKE), Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL), Tiffany (NYSE: TIFF) and others.

ACTION ITEMS:

Bullish: Investors interested in exchange traded funds focused on retail might want to consider the following trades:

  • SPDR S&P Retail (NYSE: XRT) is more than 15% higher year to date.
  • PowerShares Dynamic Retail (NYSE: PMR) is more than 15% higher year to date.
  • Market Vectors Retail ETF (NYSE: RTH) is more than 9% higher year to date.
Bearish:

Traders may prefer to consider these alternative positions in the apparel retail industry:

  • Zumiez (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) is up about 95% from six months ago.
  • Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO) is up about 84% from six months ago.
  • Gap (NYSE: GPS) is up more than 58% from six months ago.
Neither Benzinga nor its staff recommend that you buy, sell, or hold any security. We do not offer investment advice, personalized or otherwise. Benzinga recommends that you conduct your own due diligence and consult a certified financial professional for personalized advice about your financial situation.

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