Shares of retail stocks fell in tandem following the decline in Macy Inc.’s shares after the company posted a 39 percent drop in first-quarter net earnings and a 7.5 percent decline in sales.
Macy’s stock was down 15 percent to $24.95 at 1:27 p.m. Dillard’s Inc., which also posted declines in net income and sales — although it did beat Wall Street’s earnings per share estimates by 10 cents — fell 16.6 percent to $48.30. And Kohl’s Department Stores, which saw comparable-store sales fall 2.7 percent in the first quarter, was down 6.4 percent to $37.71.
Other retailers were also seeing declines in their stock prices. Nordstrom, which is expected to report earnings this afternoon, was down 7.6 percent to $46.22. J.C. Penney, which reports first quarter results on Friday, was down 7.3 percent to $5.30. Ascena Retail Group Inc. was down 6.1 percent to $3.67.
And Sears Holdings Corp., which held its annual meeting on Wednesday, was down 8.8 percent to $10.26. Sears’ chairman and chief executive officer Edward S. Lampert took to blogging a day after the meeting, noting that the company’s board and management team are doing everything they can to fight against retail’s headwinds: “We are fighting like hell!”
Lampert said the company needs the “support of our members, vendors, lenders and the communities we serve to succeed.” And he touched upon the harm from commentators who rush to conclusions about the future of Sears. The chairman emphasized that those predictions have been off the mark. He also noted the company’s recent disclosure to target an additional $250 million in cost savings, which brings the “total target for 2017 to at least $1.25 billion.”
Also seeing declines were the shares of many brands that — through their wholesale business — sell through the department store channel at retail. Coach was down 1.2 percent to $45.40; Michael Kors Holdings was down 2.8 percent to $37.19; Ralph Lauren Corp. fell 4.9 percent to $79.03, and VF Corp. slipped 2.2 percent to $54.32.