3 Major Retail Stocks Buzzing on Wall Street Following Earnings Releases

The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) reported its results for the third quarter. Net income for the apparel store fell to $193 million (38 cents per share) vs. $303 million (48 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 36.3% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue fell 1.8% to $3.59 billion from the year earlier quarter. GPS beat the mean analyst estimate of 37 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $3.61 billion.

“Across our brands, we’re intensely focused on improving our current sales trend, including making necessary product and marketing adjustments, with a view toward building momentum as we head into 2012,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and chief executive officer of Gap Inc. “We’re ready to compete aggressively this holiday.”

Competitors to Watch: Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF), The Gymboree Corporation (GYMB), The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE), American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), J. Crew Group, Inc. (NYSE:JCG), Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE:ARO), Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLCE), The Walking Co. Hldgs., Inc. (WALK), and The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSLA).

Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) reported its results for the third quarter. Loss widened to $421 million ($3.95 per diluted share) from $218 million (loss of $1.98 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue fell 0.8% to $9.6 billion from the year earlier quarter. SHLD reported an adjusted net loss of $2.57 per share. By that measure, the company fell short of the mean analyst estimate of a loss of $2.14 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $9.57 billion.

Lou D’Ambrosio, Sears Holdings’ Chief Executive Officer and President, said, “While we are not satisfied with our performance, we saw improvement in some core areas.Sears Full-line Stores saw improvement, as Sears apparel achieved both comparable store sales and margin rate increases in the quarter. We also saw nearly 20% growth in our domestic online business, and while appliance sales declined in the quarter, we improved our market leadership positions in overall appliances and Kenmore.Despite improvement in these areas, our overall results were down, led by declines in Sears Canada, consumer electronics and Kmart apparel.”

Competitors to Watch: J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS), Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M), Dillard’s, Inc. (NYSE:DDS), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Saks Incorporated (NYSE:SKS), The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:BONT), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK), and Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN).

Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) reported its results for the third quarter. Net income for Dollar Tree Inc. rose to $104.5 million (87 cents per share) vs. $93.2 million (73 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 12.1% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue  rose 12% to $1.6 billion from the year earlier quarter. DLTR beat the mean analyst estimate of 83 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.58 billion.

“I am very pleased with the Company’s performance in the third quarter,” said President and CEO Bob Sasser. “Dollar Tree achieved double-digit growth in sales, operating margin and earnings per share against a very strong performance last year. Our merchandising and store teams continue to deliver exciting products at great values and a fun, friendly, convenient shopping experience for our customers.”

Competitors to Watch: Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG), Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO), 99 Cents Only Stores (NYSE:NDN), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), Fred’s, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Gordmans Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:GMAN), Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG), Duckwall-ALCO Stores, Inc (NASDAQ:DUCK), and Wal-mart de Mexico S A B de C V (WMMVY).

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