Retail Results Push Down Stores Stocks

Disappointing earnings and trimmed forecasts drive down S&P Retail Index nearly 10% for week.

Disheartening third-quarter results–and prospects for the fourth quarter and beyond that were none too appealing–pushed retail stocks down 9.9 percent last week.


The Standard & Poor’s Retail Index settled for the week at 246.58, following a 7 percent, or 18.54-point drop, on Friday alone. Macy’s Inc., Nordstrom Inc., Kohl’s Corp., and J.C. Penney Co. all reported bottom-line declines from the bruised economy and paid for it in the stock market.


Macy’s stock fell 31.4 percent to $7.52 for the week, as Nordstrom was down 24.3 percent to $11.74, J.C. Penney dropped 22.9 percent to $17.27, and Kohl’s was off 15 percent to $29.09.


Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which managed to capitalize on its girth and low-price image to turn in improved results, still saw its stock drop 3.1 percent to $52.71.


Losing market capitalization among the specialty retailers last week were Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., down 60.8 percent to $1.22; The Talbots Inc., 47 percent to $2.99; J. Crew Group Inc., 29.9 percent to $11.22; Abercrombie & Fitch Co., 29.1 percent to $17.79; Guess Inc., 19.6 percent to $13.97; American Eagle Outfitters Inc., 12.5 percent to $8.88, and Gap Inc., 9.9 percent to $11.55. Even Urban Outfitters Inc., which improved on
year-ago profits in the third quarter, was down 8.3 percent to $16.04.


The drumbeat of bad news at department stores echoed resoundingly in vendor stocks. Down for the week were Liz Claiborne Inc., off 45.2 percent to $3.69; Jones Apparel Group, 28.7 percent to $6.32; G-III Apparel Group, 26.5 percent to $9.12, and Kenneth Cole Productions Inc., 20.1 percent to $8.52.