As Q1 earnings season winds down, big names in the retail industry are beginning to report their results. Yesterday saw department store bellwether Macy's, Inc. M report mixed first quarter earnings, and as a result, slashed its fiscal 2016 guidance, with shares seeing their biggest drop since 2008. The company's weak results and downbeat comments in its earnings release caused a selloff among other apparel makers, mall owners, luxury brands, and department store competitors.
Let's take a look at the retail brands that reported today.
Kohl's Corp. KSS
The specialty department store chain delivered disappointing first quarter results. Earnings per share came in at $0.31, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.36 per share by 13.9% and falling a sharp 50% year-over-year. Net sales of $3.792 billion also fell behind our consensus estimate of $4.124 by 3.7% due to a challenging sales environment.
Comps declined 3.9% in Q1 in comparison to the preceding quarter's growth of 0.4% and year-ago growth of 1.4%. This may suggest that Kohl's strategic initiative, 'Greatness Agenda,' has failed to deliver promised results. The initiative, which started back in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, was intended to increase transactions per store and sales.
Kohl's remains cautious about its fiscal 2016 outlook, and has plans to close 18 stores because of uncertainty in the retail space as well as conservative spending by U.S. consumers.
Ralph Lauren Corp. RL
Known for its polo player logo, Ralph Lauren posted mixed Q4 results. Adjusted earnings came in at $0.88 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.83 per share but declined 37.6% year-over-year. On a reported basis, the company posted earnings of $0.49 per share, down 65.2% from the prior-year quarter. Net revenues fell roughly 1% to $1.871 billion, missing our consensus estimate of $1.905 billion.
The retailer's adjusted gross profit margin contracted 90 bps to 54.5% due to unfavorable currency impacts in addition to steps taken to clear seasonal inventory in the U.S. In dollar terms, gross profit of $1.021 billion declined 2.2% year-over-year.
Ralph Lauren's results offer a bit if optimism that the retailer is headed in the right direction as new CEO Stefan Larsson reorganizes the company; the company is on a mission to cut $110 million in annual costs as well as remodel stores and reduce its product count to keep inventory low. Ralph Lauren also announced that its board had authorized $200 million in stock buybacks in addition to the $100 million in cash it had available at the end of the reported quarter.
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