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.

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

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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