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Retail Roundup: Aeropostale, Nordstrom, Saks, Costco...


Take a peek at the Same Store Sales numbers for April!

Specialty Apparel

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF):
reported -10.0 vs. +1.3 exp.

"Dress Like Your Social Betters" promotion getting mixed results last month for the Cool Kid chain. The stock has been bullet-proof, despite weak comps and a forecat for more of the same. High short base may be the best thing going for ANF at the moment.

Aeropostale (ARO): reported -14.0 vs. -2.3 exp.

The company noted that its same store sales trends improved as the month progressed, in part because of improving weather and traffic patterns, in part because "it's hard to get worse than down 100%." Comps were positive in the last two weeks of the month. The company reaffirms 1Q EPS guidance of $0.34-$0.35 (vs. $0.35 consensus).

American Eagle (AEO):
reported -10.0 vs. +1.3 exp.

Free Investment Relations Advice: Keeping your comps positive when the other chains' estimates are negative is only a good idea if you can actually hit the number. AEO is your "Are Bad Surprises Already In the Specialty Stocks?" name of the day.

Children's Place (PLCE): reported -2.0 vs. -1.7 exp.

The company issues downside guidance for 1Q (Apr), sees EPS of $0.40-0.42 vs. $0.52 Reuters Estimates consensus; reports 1Q (Apr) revs of $478.9 mln vs. $481.00 mln consensus. The company issues downside guidance for FY '08 (Jan.), sees EPS of $3.45-3.55 vs. $3.61 consensus. And that, good Minyans, is today's lesson on what happens when retailers give away their margins in order to drive sales. Damned if you drop prices, damned if you don't...

Christopher Banks (CBK): reported -6.8 vs. -12.0 exp.

The company issues in-line guidance for 1Q, sees EPS of $0.30-0.31 vs. $0.30 Reuters Estimates consensus.

Gap (GPS): reported -16.0 vs. -7.3 exp.

"Turnaround" looking more like a "Loop-de-Loop" with the net result being that the Gap is now hurtling towards the earth at an even greater rate of speed. Even misguided leadership is better than leaving an interim CEO in place for six months.

Gymboree (GYMB):
reported -5.0 vs. -2.9 exp.

Gymboree reaffirms EPS guidance for 1Q (Apr), sees EPS of $0.60-0.63 vs. $0.63 Reuters Estimates consensus; reports 1Q (Apr) revs of $206.7 vs. $208.22 mln consensus. In the context of the April Horror Show, Gymboree is putting some distance between itself and fellow Kid's Chain Children's Place.

Hot Topic (HOTT): reported -9.1 vs. -5.8 exp.

Reaffirms 1Q net loss of ($0.01)-($0.04) (vs -$0.02 consensus). "We're still lousy but at least we're reliable."

Jos. A Bank (JOSB): reported +7.3 vs. +1.3 exp.

The virtually random Jos. A Bank month-to-month sales phenomenon works to its benefit this month as the company totally ignores the "Challenging April" environment and posts big numbers. The stock should be up large today.

Limited (LTD): reported -1.0 vs. +1.0 exp.

One perenial highlight of retail in May: watching Victoria's Secret try to work Mother's Day tie-ins in a way that doesn't utterly disgust the American consumer. Might I suggest "Oedipal Undies"?

Pacific Sunwear (PSUN): reported -16.5 vs. -6.6 exp.

PSUN is updating its outlook for the first half of fiscal 2007 after a disappointing April. The company now "anticipates 1Q earnings to be a loss of $0.04 to $0.05 per diluted share (vs $0.05 consensus) and 2Q earnings, assuming a low single digit second quarter same-store-sales increase, to be in the range of $0.18 to $0.20 per diluted share (vs $0.19 consensus)." The key word in that 2Q guidance: "Assuming."

Zumiez (ZUMZ): reported +3.0 vs. +6.1 exp.

"I welcome you into my retail round-up and you guys give me THIS?!" High-flying specialty retailers only get one or two free-passes on missing comps… even when the number is positive.

Women's Apparel

Ann Taylor (ANN): reported -12.8 vs. -5.3 exp.

You want a good "Tell" name for how the Street is going to digest the headline horror show today? Consider ANN. While -12.8 is simply terrible, the company reports 1Q sales of $580.3 mln vs $590 mln consensus, reaffirms Y '07 EPS guidance of $2.15-2.25 vs $2.18 consensus.

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Bebe Stores (BEBE): reported -9.0 vs. -6.8 exp.

With BeBe's Spiritual Spokesperson Kate Moss in Manhattan yesterday, raising a fuss on behalf of her new clothes line at Jones Apparel's Barney's, these are depressing times for the chain. BeBe remains hopeful that its actual spokesmodel, Eva Longoria, will use her remaining 15 minutes of fame to "develop some appalling, yet photogenic, personal habits."

Chicos FAS (CHS): reported -7.3 vs. -1.3 exp.

Chico is finding the Man increasingly difficult to figure out, trying not to become discouraged over this fact.

Dress Barn (DBRN): reported -6.0 vs. -6.0 exp.

Nothing says fashion like the word "Barn."

View a spreadsheet of Same Store Sales here...

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