NEW YORK — The WWD Composite Stock Index fell for the fourth consecutive week, dipping 0.3 percent to 1066.69 from 1,069.47 last week, influenced by Thursday’s reports of weak same-store sales.
This story first appeared in the July 12, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Similarly, the S&P 500 dipped meagerly, closing out the week down 1.1 percent to 1,112.81 from 1,125.38 a week earlier.
Disappointing same-store sales at department stores and specialty retailers were the likely culprit for the downturn. Twenty-one of the 50 companies tracked by WWD posted declines in their June comps, and many saw their stock prices suffer as a result.
“Surely, cool weather in much of the U.S. was one main reason why June 2004 same-store sales rose a decidedly disappointing 2.7 percent, as compared with our plus-3.5 percent forecast,” Robert Buchanan of A.G. Edwards wrote in a research note.
Wal-Mart, which lowered its growth outlook in anticipation of weak comps, saw its stock drop 0.3 percent to $51.76 on Friday from $51.93 in the prior week. The retail giant posted a 2.2 percent increase in comps, in line with its lowered growth forecast of 2 to 4 percent.
Stocks for Target, which likewise said growth would be below plan, dropped 1.2 percent to $41.27 from $41.75 last week. The company’s comps were up just 2.3 percent, down from its earlier growth expectations.
Some stores with disappointing comps, though, may have benefited from bargain hunters. Kohl’s, whose same-store sales fell 3.7 percent in June, closed the week up 4.6 percent to $43.75 from $41.81 a week ago.
Preppy retailer Abercrombie and Fitch, however, saw its stocks retreat after comps dropped by 5 percent. The price fell 2.5 percent this week, to $36.62 from $37.58. The 722-store retailer chose not to markdown merchandise as much this year, the company told investors, a move that apparently turned off customers.
Aeropostale, meanwhile, saw both its sales and stock price soar this week. Sales at its 500 stores surpassed expectations, with a 21.3 percent gain for the month compared with 8.7 percent a year earlier. Likewise, stock prices rose to $28.62 from $26.74, up 7 percent.
Limited Brands also received a boost from its 19 percent increase in comps. Stock prices ended the week at $19.72, up 4.8 percent from $18.81 a week earlier.
— Carrie Melago
WWD Composite Stock Index vs. S&P 500
Source: data Networks, Standard & Poor’s