Wall Street has already weighed in on post-holiday results, with most investors keen to stay as far away from retail as possible.
But stock price isn’t everything (yet). There are loads of other metrics to measure a company’s success and, here, WWD goes beyond the stock market to grade major U.S. retailers on the improvements in their top and bottom lines, expenses and inventory, as seen in data from S&P Capital IQ.
TJX Cos. Inc.
TJX chief executive officer Ernie L. Herrman boasted of ending 2016 with another quarter of “strong sales.” It was driven by something that’s become elusive for retailers outside the off-price sector: increased store traffic.
Revenues: $9.5 billion +5.6%
Net income: $678 million +1.7%
SG&A margin: 17% -5 basis points
Average days of inventory outstanding: 53.8 -7.2%
Department store retailing has been getting a lot of flak lately, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done well. Nordstrom boosted sales and profits, cut expenses and turned inventory quicker in the fourth quarter.
Revenues: $4.2 billion +2.4%
Net income: $201 million +11.7%
SG&A margin: 27% -200 basis points
Average days of inventory outstanding: 72.2 -6.0%
After years of struggle, Gap showed signs of stabilizing in the fourth quarter. While ceo Art Peck said the changes in business landscape were “underestimated,” he maintained there is “significant market share opportunity.”
Revenues: $4.4 billion +1.0%
Net income: $220 million +2.8%
SG&A margin: 27% +170 basis points
Average days of inventory outstanding: 65.5 -3.2%
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Wal-Mart got job number one done and grew fourth-quarter sales, but the King Kong of retail still saw its profits sag as it gears up for an online battle royale with Amazon.
Revenues: $130.9 billion +1%
Net income: $3.8 billion -17.9%
SG&A margin: 21% +50 basis points
Average days of inventory outstanding: 43.7 -3.1%
Urban Outfitters Inc.
Urban Outfitters’ ceo Richard Hayne was crowing about the return of fashion last year, but tough times have forced him to change his tune. He now declares there was a retail real estate bubble that “has now burst.”
Revenues: $1 billion +1.7%
Net income: $64 million -11.8%
SG&A margin: 23.40% +60 basis points
Average days of inventory outstanding: 52.8 -2.4%
J.C. Penney Co. Inc.
J.C. Penney jumped back into the black, but still has plenty of work to do, starting with its store base, which will be trimmed by up to 140 doors in the months ahead.
Revenues: $4 billion -0.9%
Net income: $192 million vs. loss
SG&A margin: 24% -360 basis points
Average days of inventory outstanding: 112.4 +1.8%
Kohl’s has been tightening up on inventory, but still working to get the rest of its business moving. Ceo Kevin Mansell is looking for Under Armour and online shoppers to boost profits this year.
Revenues: $6.2 billion -2.8%
Net income: $252 million -14.9%
SG&A margin: 22% +100 basis points
Average days of inventory outstanding: 93.8 -5.2%
Jeff Gennette will have his hands full when he takes the reins as ceo of Macy’s Inc. next week. The company’s metrics are all moving in the wrong direction, with sales and profits down and inventory and expenses up.
Revenues: $8.5 billion -4.0%
Net income: $475 million -12.7%
SG&A margin: 26% +100 basis points
Average days of inventory outstanding: 112.5 +0.5%