Consumer Spending: Retailers Report Flat Sales Compared to July

By
A A A

(Written by Becca Lipman. List compiled by Eben Esterhuizen, CFA. Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, short data from Yahoo! Finance.)

Slowing retail sales do not bode well for the American economy, with consumer spending making up 70% of GDP. For that reason reports of "flat sales" growth in August compared to July threaten to stunt an already slowing economic recovery.

Worse, CNNMoney reports last month's boost in sales was actually less than originally reported. "Retail sales in July were cut to up 0.3% from the 0.5% gain initially posted." On a more upbeat note, retail sales are 7.2% above the same time last year.


Giving consumers motivation to spend is becoming increasingly difficult as the cycle of unemployment, savings and decreased demand gathers momentum with each rotation. And while economic growth has been slow, if consumers continue to keep their wallets shut the economy could cease to grow.

It also leaves retailers feeling more than a little unsettled. The holiday season is just around the corner and it's no secret retailers are hoping for a fiscal holiday miracle with a spending turn-around.

Consumers may not budge on spending, but we were wondering, which retail stores are expected to survive the retail downturn?

For clues, we collected institutional trading data on about 130 publicly traded retail stores. To identify bullish prospects, we focused on the names seeing significant buying from big money managers during the current quarter.

To further refine the quality of the list, we focused on short seller trends, and identified the names that have seen a significant decrease in shares shorted over the last month (i.e. short covering). In other words, short sellers think the upside potential of these stocks outweigh the downside potential.

Sophisticated investors, like short sellers and institutional investors, think there's upside to these names--do you agree?

Analyze These Ideas (Tools Will Open In A New Window)

1. Access a thorough description of all companies mentioned
2. Compare analyst ratings for all stocks mentioned below
3. Visualize annual returns for all stocks mentioned

1. Express Inc. (EXPR): Operates specialty retail stores in the United States. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 6.8M shares, which represents about 19.75% of the company's float of 34.43M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 4.19M to 3.68M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.48% of the company's float of 34.43M shares.

2. AnnTaylor Stores Corp. (ANN): Operates as a specialty retailer of women's apparel, shoes, and accessories primarily in the United States. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 24.0M shares, which represents about 51.86% of the company's float of 46.28M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 8.84M to 7.30M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 3.33% of the company's float of 46.28M shares.

3. The Jones Group Inc. (JNY): Engages in the design, marketing, and wholesale of apparel, footwear, and accessories in the United States and Canada. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 4.6M shares, which represents about 6.02% of the company's float of 76.44M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 10.52M to 9.62M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.18% of the company's float of 76.44M shares.

4. Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. (LL): Operates as a specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in the United States. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 3.5M shares, which represents about 15.7% of the company's float of 22.29M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 7.07M to 6.32M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 3.36% of the company's float of 22.29M shares.

5. ZAGG Incorporated (ZAGG): Designs, manufactures, and distributes protective coverings, audio accessories, and power solutions for consumer electronic and hand-held devices, under the invisibleSHIELD, ZAGGaudio, and ZAGGskins brand names, primarily in the United States and Europe. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 8.0M shares, which represents about 44.3% of the company's float of 18.06M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 9.98M to 9.61M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 2.05% of the company's float of 18.06M shares.

6. Hot Topic Inc. (HOTT): Operates as a mall- and Web-based specialty retailer in the United States. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 4.2M shares, which represents about 10.27% of the company's float of 40.91M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 4.27M to 3.78M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.2% of the company's float of 40.91M shares.

7. Cost Plus Inc. (CPWM): Operates as a specialty retailer of casual home furnishings and entertaining products in the United States. Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 2.7M shares, which represents about 18.31% of the company's float of 14.75M shares. Shares shorted have decreased from 3.24M to 3.01M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.56% of the company's float of 14.75M shares.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks


Kapitall

Kapitall

More from Kapitall:

Related Videos

Stocks

Referenced

Most Active by Volume

100,376,898
  • $17.62 ▲ 0.51%
83,231,837
  • $25.62 ▲ 1.91%
75,739,329
  • $111.78 ▼ 0.77%
65,297,937
  • $36.37 ▼ 1.76%
59,053,093
  • $47.66 ▲ 0.29%
53,482,350
  • $2.59 ▼ 0.38%
51,504,284
  • $7.34 ▲ 2.37%
51,434,656
  • $8.14 ▲ 6.96%
As of 12/19/2014, 04:15 PM


Find a Credit Card

Select a credit card product by:
Select an offer:
Search
Data Provided by BankRate.com