Target Pops On Holiday Sales But These 3 Specialty Retailers Dive

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Target ( TGT ) joined other retailers in reporting a holiday sales boom and raising its profit forecast, but Urban Outfitters ( URBN ), American Eagle ( AEO ) and Express Inc. ( EXPR ) reported lackluster store traffic and offered a glum profit and sales outlook. Upscale department store chain Nordstrom ( JWN ) reported positive holiday comps and raised its profit forecast after Tuesday's closing bell.

[ibd-display-video id=3073078 width=50 float=left autostart=true] While Target and department stores like Nordstrom, Kohl's (KSS), Macy's (M) and J.C. Penney (JCP) saw robust holiday traffic, apparel and specialty chains have been more mixed. And while Lululemon Athletica (LULU) and Zumiez (ZUMZ) have upgraded their guidance on strong holiday results, Five Below (FIVE), Big 5 (BGFV) and L Brands (LB) were weak.


On Tuesday, Target said same-store sales rose 3.4% in November and December, with digital sales expected to grow more than 25% for 2017.

The Minneapolis-based retailer now sees same-store sales for the January quarter rising 3.4%, up from an earlier view of no change to 2% growth. It also raised its profit guidance, based on the stronger-than-expected holiday sales and recently enacted federal tax reform.

Target expects Q4 adjusted earnings of $1.30-$1.40 per share, and full-year 2017 adjusted EPS of $4.64 to $4.74. That compares with its previous, respective forecasts of $1.05-$1.25 and $4.40-$4.60.

For 2018, the company expects "year-over-year stability in EPS" for its core business and a low single-digit increase in comparable sales. It sees 2018 adjusted EPS of $5.15-$5.45.

On the stock market today , Target shares rallied 2.9% to 69.14, hitting their beset levels since January 2017. Rival Wal-Mart (WMT) dipped 1.2% to 100.39, holding above Monday's flat-base breakout from a 100.23 buy point.

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Nordstrom said after the market close that November-December same-store sales rose 1.2% vs. a year earlier, with total sales up 2.5%. The retailer now sees full-year EPS of $2.90-$2.95 vs. the prior $2.85-$2.95. But analysts expect $2.91.

Nordstrom shares were little changed late after closing down 0.8% at 47.89.

American Eagle

American Eagle reaffirmed its EPS guidance for Q4 EPS of 42-44 cents. Comparable sales in the quarter to date have increased 8%.

The guidance does not include the impact of tax reform, potential asset impairment and restructuring charges. The specialty retailer releases Q4 and fiscal 2017 results on March 8.

Shares sank 3.2% to 17.38, their fifth straight decline.


Express law a disappointing pre-Christmas period with "worse than expected" traffic in retail stores and cut its guidance.

For Q4, the company now expects comparable-store sales to shrink 1%-2% and EPS of 31-33 cents.

For 2017 as a whole, the specialty retailer now sees comparable sales down 4% and EPS of 33-35 cents.

Shares dived 20% to 7.37, breaching the 50-day and 200-day moving avearges.

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters saw net sales rise 3.6% in November and December, and 1% in the 11 months ended December. Comparable sales grew 2% and fell 1% over the respective periods.

Shares dropped 4.1% to 32.37.


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

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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