Market Overview

Retail Earnings: A Sneak Peek (KSS, JWN, WMT, TGT, HD)


The earnings season is beginning to wind down for another quarter. That can only mean that it is time for some of our favorite shopping mall and strip mall retailers to step into the earnings spotlight. Kohl's (NYSE: KSS) and Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) start things off later this week when they report their first-quarter results. Here is a peek at what analysts expect to see from these reports, as well as the earnings from other big retailers in the subsequent two weeks.


The discount department store operator is scheduled to report its first-quarter results Thursday morning, May 12. Analysts expect the Wisconsin-based company to announce that per-share earnings rose 11.1% from a year ago to $0.72.

During the three months that ended in April, Kohl's announced the building of a new e-commerce distribution center and also shifted its private credit card portfolio to Capital One (NYSE: COF). The consensus revenue forecast for that period calls for $4.3 billion, which is an increase of 5.4% year-over-year.

Looking ahead, analysts so far expect to see sequential and year-over-year growth in both earnings per share and revenues in the current quarter. Note that consensus earnings estimates have been pretty much on target in recent quarters.


Seattle-based Nordstrom will report its first-quarter results after the market closes on Thursday, May 12. Analysts anticipate that the upscale apparel and accessory retailer will post per-share earnings of $0.66 and $2.2 billion in revenues. That is up from $0.52 per share and $2.0 billion in the same period of last year.

During the three months that ended in April, Nordstrom acquired online private sale marketplace HauteLook for $180 million in Nordstrom stock and options. Nordstrom's board of directors also approved a 15% boost in the quarterly dividend.

Analysts so far expect Nordstrom to report sequential and year-over-year growth in both earnings per share and revenues in the second quarter. Note that Nordstrom fell short of consensus earnings estimates in two of the past five quarters, but by three cents per share or less.

Other Retailers

Walmart (NYSE: WMT), the world's largest retailer, is among those reporting results the following week. Like fellow big-box store operators Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Target (NYSE: TGT), Walmart is expected to post modest year-over-year earnings growth.

Double-digit earnings growth is anticipated from Costco (NASDAQ: COST), GameStop (NYSE: GME), Limited Brands (NYSE: LMT), Ross Stores (NASDAQ: ROST), Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) and Tiffany (NYSE: TIF).

Not all is rosy in the sector, though. Earnings results for JCPenney (NYSE: JCP) and TJX Companies (NYSE: TJX) are expected to be about the same as a year ago. Analysts predict that The Gap (NYSE: GPS) and Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ: URBN) will have seen their earnings slip by about a nickel per share.

The consensus forecast calls for per-share earnings of only a few cents from Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) and Sears (NASDAQ: SHLD), but that is an improvement from losses in the same period of last year.

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