Market Overview

Ten Apparel Retail Stocks Worth a Look Now

The earnings spotlight turns to retail this coming week with quarterly reports due from the likes of Kohl's (NYSE: KSS), Macy's (NYSE: M) and Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN). Analysts are looking for earnings growth from these three. And investors may take some comfort from the fact that, last week, many retailers reported strong same-store sales in July.

Investors seeking opportunities in the sector might take a look at the following ten apparel retailers. These dividend-paying stocks are still trading within sight of their 52-week highs despite last week's pullbacks along with the broader markets.

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF): This Ohio-based retailer reported strong same-store sales in July, boosted by strength at its surf-themed Hollister chain. The company has also seen strong international sales, including at its new flagship store in Paris. Its dividend yield is 1.0% and the market cap is $6.2 billion. The share price is more than 82% higher than a year ago. The stock has outperformed competitor The Gap (NYSE: GPS) and the broader markets year to date.

Bebe Stores (NASDAQ: BEBE): Based in California and sporting a market cap of $547.2 million, this woman's apparel retailer reported strong same-store sales growth for the most recent quarter. The company has been buying back shares since 2005. It has a 1.5% dividend yield and a long-term EPS growth forecast of 27.5%. The share price popped 15% in July following the earnings report but has lost most of that gain since. Still, the stock is up about 10% year to date.

Buckle (NYSE: BKE): This Nebraska-based retailer saw strong same-store sales in July as well. The company also opened four new stores in July, including in St. Louis and Jacksonville, Florida. The $1.9 billion market cap company has a dividend yield of 2.0%. Its P/E ratio is less than the industry average. The share price is about 65% higher than a year ago, and the stock has outperformed competitors American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) and Gap year to date.

Chico's FAS (NYSE: CHS): This specialty retailer is expected to post 20.2% earnings growth and 19.9% revenue growth when it reports second-quarter results August 17. Its market cap is $2.3 billion and the dividend yield is 1.5%. The long-term EPS growth forecast is 16.3%. The share price has risen nearly 47% over the past year. Year to date, the stock has outperformed competitors Ann Taylor (NYSE: ANN) and Talbots (NYSE: TLB), as well as the broader markets.

Finish Line (NASDAQ: FINL): This Indianapolis-based sportswear purveyor announced in July that it would buy back 5 million shares, about 9% of those outstanding. The company also has said it plans to open five to ten new stores this year. It has a return on equity of 14.6% and a 1.0% dividend yield. The share price is up about 46% from a year ago. Year to date, the stock has outperformed the broader markets, as well as competitor Foot Locker.

Foot Locker (NYSE: FL): Analysts expect per-share earnings to be up 63.6% year-over-year, with revenue up 8%, when this New York-based company reports later this month. The long-term EPS growth forecast is 10.8%. It has a dividend yield of 3.6% and a market cap of $2.9 billion. The share price is more than 44% higher year over year. The stock has outperformed the broader markets and competitor Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) over that period.

Hot Topic (NASDAQ: HOTT): This was one of the strongest performers in the teen sector with July same-store revenue much higher than analysts expected. Hot Topic also raised its second quarter outlook. It has a dividend yield of 3.9% and a long-term EPS growth forecast of 22.0%. Shares are trading more than 50% higher than a year ago. The stock has outperformed competitors such as Zumiez (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) and the broader markets year to date.

Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD): This retailer has a market cap of $10.7 billion and is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. It declared its 147th consecutive quarterly dividend last week, and it also saw strong same-store sales growth in July. The dividend yield is 2.3% and the return on equity is 55.2%. The share price has grown nearly 36% in the past year. The stock has outperformed competitors Gap and Macy's, as well as the broader markets, year to date.

Men's Wearhouse (NYSE: MW): This Houston-based purveyor of men's suits has a market cap of $1.5 billion. For a second quarter in which a new chief executive took up the reins, the company is expected to post 20.2% earnings growth and 19.9% revenue growth. It has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Analysts on average recommend buying the stock. Shares are trading nearly 59% higher than a year ago. The stock has outperformed competitor Jos. A. Bank (NASDAQ: JOSB) over that time.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ: ROST): July same-store sales were also up for this discount retailer, and it raised its guidance for the second quarter. The company has a market cap of $8.6 billion and a dividend yield of 1.2%. It also has a healthy return on equity of 44.4%. The long-term EPS growth forecast is 12.7%. The share price has grown more than 48% in the past year, outperforming competitors such as TJX Companies (NYSE: TJX) and the broader markets.

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.

Posted-In: abercrombie & fitch American Eagle Outfitters ann taylorLong Ideas Short Ideas Dividends Retail Sales Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

 

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