3 Retail Stocks Trending With Traders Following Earnings Releases

The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSLA) reported its results for the third quarter. Net income for The Wet Seal, Inc. rose to $3.7 million (4 cents per share) vs. $2.6 million (3 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 46.3% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 3.9% to $152.1 million from the year earlier quarter. WTSLA fell in line with the mean analyst estimate of 4 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $157.7 million.

“At Wet Seal this year, we also eliminated Halloween costumes and related merchandise, a historically low margin business for us, in order to maintain a brand-right fashion assortment in our stores. This was the right strategic decision for our long-term direction, but also challenged sales results in October.”Ms. McGalla continued, “At Arden B, we built upon our strength in the dress and jewelry businesses in the quarter, though were disappointed with our performance in other apparel and accessory areas. We will carefully manage inventories in this business as we identify opportunities for improvement.”

Competitors to Watch: Body Central Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ:BODY), bebe stores, inc. (NASDAQ:BEBE), dELiA*s, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLIA), Limited Brands, Inc. (NYSE:LTD), The Cato Corporation (NYSE:CATO), Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE:ARO), The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF), Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSUN), and Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ:ZUMZ).

Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) reported its results for the third quarter. Net income for Ross Stores Inc. rose to $144 million ($1.26 per share) vs. $121.4 million ($1.02 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 18.6% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 9.2% to $2.05 billion from the year earlier quarter. ROST fell in line with the mean analyst estimate of $1.26 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $2.03 billion.

Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased with our above-plan sales and earnings in the third quarter and first nine months of 2011, especially considering this growth was achieved on top of exceptional increases in the prior two years. Our strong revenue gains continue to be driven mainly by our ability to deliver compelling bargains on a wide assortment of exciting name brand fashions for the family and the home to today’s increasingly value-focused consumers. In addition, operating our business on lower in-store inventories is driving faster turns and lower markdowns, which continues to benefit profit margins.”

Competitors to Watch: Citi Trends, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTRN), Syms Corp. (NASDAQ:SYMS), Stein Mart, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMRT), Stage Stores, Inc. (NYSE:SSI), Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF), Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN), American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS), and The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE).

Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE:WSM) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the third quarter.  Net income for Williams-Sonoma Inc. rose to $43.4 million (41 cents per share) vs. $36.5 million (34 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 18.8% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 6.3% to $867.2 million from the year earlier quarter. WSM beat the mean analyst estimate of 38 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $856.2 million.

Laura Alber, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The third quarter was another strong quarter for the company as comparable brand revenues increased 7% and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share increased 17% to a Q3 record of $0.41 per share. Innovative merchandising, personalized and event-triggered marketing, and a higher level of customer engagement drove these better-than-expected results as we continued to attract new customers to our brands. Non-GAAP operating margin increased 60 basis points to a Q3 record of 7.9%, while we continued to invest in our e-commerce, global expansion and business development initiatives.”

Competitors to Watch: Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY), Pier one Imports, Inc. (NYSE:PIR), Kirkland’s, Inc. (NASDAQ:KIRK), Cost Plus, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPWM), Haverty Furniture Companies, Inc. (NYSE:HVT), Italtile Limited (NYSE:ITE), Macy’s (NYSE:M) and Nordstrom’s (NYSE:JWN).