Traders

The U.S. stock market is off to a modestly positive start to the trading day, even as Coach Inc. and the Gap Inc. disappointed investors with their sales results.

The S&P 500 rose by 2 points to 2,183, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 34 points to trade at 18,563 and the Nasdaq added 11 points to trade at 5,223. The S&P Retail ETF fell over 1 percent to $44.33.

Coach shares declined about 2 percent in early trading to $40.68 after delivering its second quarter results. Coach beat estimates for earnings but came up short on the sales expectations. Still, net sales increased 15 percent to $1.15 billion, shy of the estimated $1.16 billion. Earnings were 45 cents a share, versus the expected 41 cents a share. In addition, Coach said it is pulling out of 25 percent of its North American department store locations because of too much promotional activity. Coach is also beginning to see better sales at its own stores as the department store sales decline. Plus, Coach wants to continue its strategy of returning to a luxury brand with less discounting.

The Gap, Inc. is tumbling over 6 percent to $23.87 after the company delivered less than stellar sales for July. The total Gap company reported that for the four weeks ending July 30, net sales were $1.10 billion versus last year’s $1.12 billion. Gap Inc.’s comparable sales fell by 4 percent versus last year’s drop of 3 percent and a big miss from the analyst expectations of a decline of just 0.3 percent. Gap also reported that fiscal second quarter net sales for the total company were $3.85 billion, which was also less than last year’s $3.90 billion.

Delta Apparel, Inc. struggled to meet earnings expectations for its fiscal third quarter, but did beat on sales. Earnings per share were 32 cents versus the estimated 45 cents, while sales of $112 million topped the FactSet estimate for $106 million. The company’s Salt Life brand continued its double-digit growth trend with 45 percent growth over last year. Salt Life’s e-commerce sales grew 80 percent. Delta has begun opening Salt Life stores and plans to keep up the expansion. As a result, the stock was up by over 2 percent to $23.48.

Blue Nile Inc. delivered second quarter results that fell below analysts’ estimates for earnings and also guided lower than estimates for the third quarter. The stock is losing just 22 cents to sell at $29.40. Net income for the quarter was $2.1 million, or 18 cents a diluted share, down from $2.3 million, or 20 cents, a year ago. The Capital IQ estimate was for earnings of 21 cents. The company said its expenses had grown as Blue Nile opens more webrooms for customers to see the product.

 

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