Top 3 Retail Stock Picks This Season
Generally touted as "Make or Break", the last holiday season was
primarily "break" for most retailers as they experienced a weak
year. Aggressive promotions, reduced footfall, increase in online
shopping, and finally the frigid weather - all contributed to a
dismal holiday season in 2013. Weather did not play much of a
spoilsport earlier in the concluding quarter, but has been nasty
What further made this holiday season challenging for retailers was
the time frame, as 2013 presented only 25 days between Black Friday
and Christmas as against 31 days in 2012. A slew of retailers have
reported loss of margins in their preliminary reports and
subsequently trimmed their outlook for the quarter sending stock
prices spiraling down.-
What Waits for Retail in 2014?
An encouraging overall economic scenario heralds hope for Retail.
The economic recovery gathered momentum in the second half of 2013,
with real GDP increasing at an average annual rate of over 3.7% in
the third and fourth quarters, as against 1.8% in the first and
second quarters, prompting the Federal Reserve to continue with its
modest tapering efforts.
Moreover, a recovering economy boosted the Consumer Confidence
Index to the north for the second consecutive month to 80.7 in
January from 77.5 in December. This development is more than
welcome, as consumer spending constitutes over two-third of the
U.S. economic activity. Only, lesser-than-expected job additions in
January make us wary. The unemployment rate still stands at 6.6% in
January, higher than the Fed's threshold limit of 6.5%.
However, we believe that with renewed customer sentiment and
improving economy, Retail stands a strong chance of delivering a
robust performance in 2014. Therefore, it might be a good idea to
bet on the retail stocks that are poised to beat earnings estimates
in this quarter. An earnings beat will reiterate investors'
confidence in these stocks, leading to rapid price appreciation.
How to Choose a Stock?
Picking the best stocks from the Retail/Wholesale space for one's
portfolio is not a fairly simple task. However, an easy way to
narrow down the list of choices during this earnings season is by
looking at stocks that have the combination of a favorable Zacks
Rank - Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold) - and a
Earnings ESP is our proprietary methodology for identifying stocks
that have the best chance to surprise with their next earnings
For investors seeking to apply this strategy to their portfolio, we
have highlighted 3 Retail/Wholesale stocks that may stand out this
Foot Locker, Inc.
: This is a Zacks Rank #3 stock with an earnings ESP of +8.00%. The
current Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter fiscal 2013 is
pegged at 75 cents. Over the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus
Estimate (on average) has remained unchanged. Foot Locker is a New
York City based retailer of apparel, footwear and accessories.
is slated to report results on Mar 7, 2014.
Dick's Sporting Goods Inc.
: This sports and fitness retailer carries a Zacks Rank #3 with an
earnings ESP of +0.91%. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for
fourth-quarter fiscal 2013 is pegged at $1.10. Over the past 30
days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate (on average) has increased 3.8%
as the company raised its fourth-quarter earnings guidance
following better-than expected comparable store sales. The company
is headquartered in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania and operates mainly in
the Eastern United States.
Dick's Sporting is expected to report results on Mar 10,
Susser Holdings Corporation
a Zacks Rank #2 and an earnings ESP of +2.38%. The current Zacks
Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter 2013 is pegged at 42
cents. Over the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate
(on average) has increased by a penny. This Corpus Christi, Texas
operates convenience stores along with its subsidiaries.
is slated to report results on Feb 26, 2014.
We believe that the above-mentioned stocks armed with strong
fundamentals and growth prospects are good investment options at
the moment. As the U.S. stocks are on the lookout for a survival
strategy, a sneak peek into the retail space for some potential
outperformers backed by a favorable Zacks Rank and a positive Zacks
Earnings ESP could be handy for investors.
DICKS SPRTG GDS (DKS): Free Stock Analysis
FOOT LOCKER INC (FL): Free Stock Analysis
SUSSER HLDGS CP (SUSS): Free Stock Analysis
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