Which of These Top 5 Department Store Stocks Have the Strongest Earnings Trends?

Earnings trends are extremely important when evaluating stocks. At Wall St. Cheat Sheet, we view increasing earnings quarter-over-quarter as a simple way to gauge whether costs and the business model are stable. Then we like to analyze whether the company is outperforming peers in the sector. This is what we call the “E-Squared” investment analysis (‘E = Earnings Are Increasing Quarter-Over-Quarter’ + ‘E = Excellent Relative Performance Versus Peers and Sector’).

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Here’s your Cheat Sheet to how the top 5 department store stocks rank via earnings trends:

Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE:DDS): Current Price $79.99

Fiscal Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Revenue ($) in millions 6,988 6,227 6,254 6,400 6,752
Diluted EPS ($) -3.25 0.93 2.67 8.52  6.40

Dillard’s showed a strong uptrend in EPS growth up to 2012, though we’re concerned that 2013 has shown a dip.

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Next, our CHEAT SHEET investing framework asks us to drill down to the recent quarterly data:

Quarter Jan. 31, 2012 Apr. 30, 2012 Jul. 31, 2012 Oct. 31, 2012 Jan. 31, 2013
Revenue ($) in millions 2,007 1,583 1,525 1,486 2,157
Diluted EPS ($) 2.58 1.89 0.63 1.01  2.87

But we’re mighty impressed that Dillard’s set an earnings record for itself in the latest quarter, and therefore keep it on our watch list…