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.

This story first appeared in the November 17, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.


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.