Market Overview

Gap, Sears and Other Retail Stocks Up More Than 35% Year to Date

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This week, Kohl's (NYSE: KSS), Macy's (NYSE: M) and Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) kick off this quarter's parade of earnings reports from retailers. Walmart (NYSE: WMT), Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and many others are scheduled to post results next week. Here is a quick look at some retailers with share prices that are more than 35% higher than at the beginning of the year.

See also: Macy's Profit Rockets 38% but Shares Still Drop

Dressbarn operator Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ: ASNA) saw its share price rise more than 50% to a multiyear high in March, but it has pulled back more than 8% since then. Last week, this specialty retailer was upgraded to Strong Buy at Suntrust Robinson Humphrey. It has a $3.2 billion market cap and a long-term EPS growth forecast of 14.2%. The stock has outperformed the likes of Kohl's and JCPenney (NYSE: JCP) over the past six months.

Cabela's (NYSE: CAB) is trading more than 39% higher than at the beginning of the year but has dropped more than 5% in the past week. The Nebraska-based sporting goods superstore operator posted solid Q1 results, despite a decline in online sales. Its market cap is $2.5 billion and the P/E and PEG ratios are lower than the industry average. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) and Hibbett Sports (NASDAQ: HIBB).

Collective Brands (NYSE: PSS) is up more than 48% year to date, but the share price has plateaued just above $21 over the past week. That is since the footwear retailer was recently sold to Wolverine Worldwide (NYSE: WWW) and private equity firms. Collective Brands is expected to be split up by the end of the year. The stock has outperformed rivals such as DSW (NYSE: DSW) and Brown Shoe (NYSE: BWS), as well as Wolverine Worldwide, over the past six months.

See also: Collective Brands Split Is Good for the Sole

The share price of Dillards (NYSE: DDS) is up about 46% year to date, putting it in multiyear high territory. The Little Rock, Ark.-based department store operator is expected to say that its EPS grew more than 21% in the first quarter. The $3.2 billion market cap company has a return on equity of 22.4% and a P/E ratio of 7.5. The stock has outperformed rivals such as Kohl's, JCPenney and Sears over the past six months.

Gap's (NYSE: GPS) share price has pulled back more than 4% from a recent mulityear high but is still up more than 51% year to date. The San Francisco-based apparel retailer is expected to post Q1 sales and EPS growth on May 17. The $13.7 billion market cap company has a return on equity of 24.4% and a dividend yield of 1.8%. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed competitors such as Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO) and Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD).

While shares of Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) are trading about 73% higher year to date, they have tumbled about 36% from a multiyear high back in March. That is when it announced plans to close many Sears and Kmart stores. The rise in shares came in January on rumors that Sears Holdings might go private, as well as the announcement of a financing plan. Recently, the company offered strong Q1 guidance and also detailed plans to spin off some businesses.

See also: Sears Holdings Skyrockets on Q1 Guidance

Tractor Supply (NASDAQ: TSCO) is about 38% higher year to date despite pulling back more than 4% from a recent multiyear high. First-quarter earnings were about 120% higher. This retailer to farmers and ranchers has a $6.9 billion market cap, a long-range EPS growth forecast of 17.7% and a dividend yield of 0.8%. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed the likes of Dollar General (NYSE: DG), Home Depot and Sears, as well as the broader markets.

ACTION ITEMS:

Bullish: Investors interested in retail-oriented exchange traded funds may want to consider the following trades:

  • PowerShares Dynamic Retail (NYSE: PMR) is more than 16% higher year to date.
  • SPDR S&P Retail (NYSE: XRT) is up more than 14% higher year to date.
  • Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLY) is more than 13% higher year to date.
  • Market Vectors Retail ETF (NYSE: RTH) is more than 10% higher year to date.
Bearish:

Traders may prefer to consider these alternative positions:

  • Direxion Daily Retail Bear 3X Shares (NYSE: RETS) is up more than 10% in the past week.
  • ProShares UltraShort Consumer Goods (NYSE: SZK) is up more than 5% in the past week.
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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