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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  L Brands Inc    

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April Same-Store Sales A Mixed Bag In The Early Going

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05/03/2012 | 02:17pm CEST
   By Karen Talley 
   Of  
 

Retailers are delivering mixed sales for April, with Limited Brands Inc. (>> Limited Brands, Inc.) once again a standout while Costco Wholesale Corp. (>> Costco Wholesale Corporation) fell short of expectations for a second straight month.

The month was expected to show some slowdown after an early Easter set up a powerful showing in March, but April was also hit by colder weather in the last half of the month and gasoline prices that ratcheted higher. Retailers were also up against some big numbers from a year ago because Easter fell much later in April, supplying solid demand virtually throughout the month.

Given last year's later Easter, "it's tough to compare the numbers we're getting today," said Madison Riley managing director at Kurt Salmon. "My sense is we're generally seeing solid gains because the consumer is feeling better, and that could be a good indicator for the summer."

Costco's U.S. same-store sales excluding fuel rose 4%, when analysts were expecting 4.9%. In March, the mass merchant, which has been lowering prices to combat competition, reported a 5% gain in the U.S. excluding gas, when 5.7% was expected. "While a slowing contribution from (customer) traffic growth has been more than offset by average transaction increases over the past year or so, that appears to have reversed this quarter," said Robert Carroll, retail analyst at UBS.

Limited Brands, operator of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, narrowed first-quarter guidance to the high end of its projection after issuing April same-store sales that beat expectations, coming in with a 6% gain, when a 4% rise was predicted.

Stage Stores Inc. (>> Stage Stores, Inc.) posted a 1% drop in same-store sales when analyst were looking for a 4.8% decline. The department store chain said it saw comparable-store sales increases in its cosmetics, home and gifts, junior's, misses sportswear and petites categories during the month. Geographically, the Mid Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, South Central and Southwest regions all had comparable store sales gains.

"We expected April to be challenging given the negative impact of the Easter calendar shift and the timing shift of our Mother's Day event to May this year from April last year," Chief Executive Michael Glazer said. "However, April results were better than anticipated and, as a result, we exceeded our comparable store sales expectations for the quarter."

Among teen retailers, Zumiez Inc. (ZUMZ) reported a 10.1% rise in same-store sales when 6.8% was expected. The gain came on top of 17.5% growth in April a year ago.

Wet Seal Inc. (>> The Wet Seal, Inc.) posted a 9.6% drop in comparable-store sales when a 9% decline was expected. And Buckle Inc. (BKE) same-store sales gained 1%, when a 0.9 rise was projected.

April same-store sales are expected to rise 3% for the 18 retailers that report figures, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The 3% compares with 11.1% a year ago when Easter fell on April 24 and is on the bottom of the range that retailers have been reporting so far this year. For March and April combined, to show the shift of the Easter holiday to early April this year, retailers are expected to report a 5.4% gain. The growth is down from a 6.4% rise over the same two months last year.

-By Karen Talley, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2196; [email protected]

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION 0.33% 199.62 Delayed Quote.6.90%
STAGE STORES INC 2.24% 3.2 Delayed Quote.86.31%
ZUMIEZ INC. -0.60% 24.7 Delayed Quote.19.33%
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Financials ($)
Sales 2019 13 075 M
EBIT 2019 1 536 M
Net income 2019 849 M
Debt 2019 4 225 M
Yield 2019 7,16%
P/E ratio 2019 11,33
P/E ratio 2020 10,81
EV / Sales 2019 1,04x
EV / Sales 2020 1,00x
Capitalization 9 407 M
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
 
Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 27
Average target price 38,4 $
Spread / Average Target 13%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Leslie Herbert Wexner Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Charles C. McGuigan Chief Operating Officer
Stuart B. Burgdoerfer Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Raymond Zimmerman Independent Director
Allan R. Tessler Lead Independent Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
L BRANDS INC9 407
INDITEX - INDUSTRIA DE DISEÑO TEXTIL-4.42%102 539
KERING21.83%71 069
FAST RETAILING CO LTD8.16%46 730
ROSS STORES2.77%31 589
PRADA S.P.A.44.88%13 420