Sector Update: Consumer Stocks Edge Higher; Express Running Up Score After Strong Q2, Raising FY14 Outlook

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Consumer stocks were slightly higher this afternoon with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 edging less than 0.1% higher. Shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were ahead about 0.1%.

In company news, shares of apparel retailer Express Inc. ( EXPR ) rose Wednesday after it posted fiscal Q2 earnings and revenue beating analyst expectations and raised its FY14 EPS guidance.

EXPR was ahead over 13% shortly before the close today at $16.49 a share, earlier advancing to session high of $16.95. The stock has traded within a 52-week range of $11.80 to $25.05 a share, declining over 26% during the past 12 months despite today's gains.

During the quarter ended Aug. 2, the company earned $6.9 million, or $0.08 per share, down from a $16.9 million profit during the same quarter last year and easily beating the Capital IQ consensus expecting a break-even quarter for EXPR.

Net sales slipped about 1.8% from year-ago levels to $481.4 million, still topping the analyst mean estimate by around $23.7 million. E-commerce sales rose 3% to $61.8 million during the quarter.

For the current quarter, the retailer forecast a low-single-digit drop in comparable sales with earnings in a range $0.13 to $0.18 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ consensus expecting $0.16 per share.

EXPR also raised its outlook for FY14 per-share earnings to a new range looking for EPS of $0.85 to $0.95, beating the Street view by at least $0.04 per share. Previously, the company had projected FY14 earnings in a range of $0.74 to $0.90 per share.

In other sector news,

(+) MPAA, Prices public offering of 2.4 mln shares of its common stock at $26 each, a 6.6% discount to Tuesday's closing price. The company expects around $58.1 million in net proceeds after paying underwriter discounts and other offering costs.

(-) SWHC, Q1 profit declines to $14.6 mln, or $0.26 a share, from $26.5 mln last year. Projected Q2 EPS trails Street view by at least $0.19 a share; revenue forecast lags by at least $25.62 mln. Guides FY15 earnings, revenue guidance below Capital IQ consensus.



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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: EXPR

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