Walmart and 4 Retailers Facing a Margin Crunch

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) could be the next major retailer to experience margin shock due to discounting, say analysts. Walmart exec Duncan MacNaughton admits “we continue to invest in price to drive our price separation and our price leadership.” Walmart’s gross margin could drop to 24.5% from 25.1% this quarter – and possibly lower if Walmart continues discounting through the end of the year, according to Thomson Reuters.

Analysts also foresee downgrades for these retailers: Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS), to 32.7 percent from 38.2 percent; J.C. Penney Co Inc (NYSE:JCP), to 36.7 percent from 37.6 percent; Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M), to 41 percent from 41.3 percent; and Abercrombie & Fitch Co (NYSE:ANF), to 60.1 percent from 63.6 percent.

Here’s how these stocks are trading today:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT): WMT shares recently traded at $58.02, up $0.37, or 0.64%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $48.31 to $59.40. Volume today was 5,849,702 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 11,967,200 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 12.28, while trailing earnings are $4.72 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS): GPS shares recently traded at $18.42, up $0.11, or 0.6%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $15.08 to $23.73. Volume today was 2,037,071 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,265,310 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 10.60, while trailing earnings are $1.74 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP): JCP shares recently traded at $32.74, up $0.37, or 1.14%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $23.44 to $41.00. Volume today was 1,680,051 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 4,883,480 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 35.78, while trailing earnings are $0.92 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M): M shares recently traded at $31.57, up $0.75, or 2.43%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $21.69 to $33.26. Volume today was 4,175,447 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 8,712,100 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 11.57, while trailing earnings are $2.73 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF): ANF shares recently traded at $46.40, up $0.14, or 0.3%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $44.22 to $78.25. Volume today was 1,528,813 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,060,570 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 20.84, while trailing earnings are $2.23 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>