One Standout Amid Weak Retailers

Bob Pisani is off; this post was written by CNBC producer Robert Hum.

S&P futures lost all their early morning gains and fell about 10 points after a disappointing jobless claims report at 8:30am ET. Markets continued to fall after the open.

Jobless claims in the latest week jumped more than expected (500,000 vs. 475,000 consensus). Additionally, the prior week’s data point was revised upwards (now 488,000 vs. original report of 484,000).

In focus this morning: more tepid to poor retail reports. The stores’ cautious outlooks were clearly evident again, but a bit more disconcerting was how a few retailers have already seen weaker results — missing estimates in the past quarter, thanks to DECLINING sales.

The misses:

Buckle missed estimates $0.44 vs. $0.54, sales and margins fell. Comps were down 7.3 percent for the teen retailer as teens have limited their spending due to a tougher summer job environment this year.

New York & Co. widely missed estimates (loss of $0.58 vs. loss of $0.40 consensus) as markdowns on its apparel ate into its profit margins. The women’s apparel retailer also saw same-store sales fall nearly 2 percent

Also weighing, sales are seen weaker in the fall, and margins are expected to shrink even more.

GameStop earnings missed by a penny as sales fell just shy of estimates. Same-store sales edged up just 0.9 percent.

The video game retailer’s Q3 guidance misses estimates too ($0.35-$0.38 vs. $0.39 consensus) due to higher expenses related to its loyalty program. However, same-store sales for the current quarter are expected to rise a stronger 3 percent to 6 percent.

Continuing the trend of tepid outlooks:

Limited Brands beats estimates ($0.36 vs. $0.34 consensus) as margins improved. Comps rose more than expected (up 7 percent)

Looking ahead, August comps are seen rising mid to high single digits. Meanwhile, Q3 earnings are seen $0.03-$0.08 vs. $0.06 consensus, but full-year guidance remains cautious (raised to $1.60-$1.80 vs. $1.81 consensus).

Dick’s Sporting Goods earnings beats estimates ($0.46 vs. $0.41) as comps rose 5.7 percent.

Although the sporting goods retailers raised its full-year forecast to $1.46-$1.49 vs. $1.45 consensus on its first half strength, Q3 guidance of $0.15-$0.16 is below estimates of $0.18. Same-store sales in the current quarter are also only expected to rise a more modest 1 percent to 2 percent.

The one standout:

Williams-Sonoma up 4 percent, beats estimates ($0.31 vs. $0.22 consensus) helped by strong sales, contained costs, and higher margins. Sales were up 15 percent (vs. up 13 percent consensus). Comps at Pottery Barn (up 17 percent) outperformed its namesake stores (up 8 percent)

While the home furnishings retailer expects “volatility in the economy over the next several quarters,” it boosts its full-year earnings and sales forecasts ($1.63-$1.70 vs. $1.57 consensus, sales up 9 percent to 11 percent vs. up 9 percent consensus). But that bullish outlook isn’t just a result of a good first half. Q3 earnings are seen solid too ($0.26-$0.30, above estimates of $0.22), with sales growing 7 percent to 10 percent (vs. 5 percent estimate).


Security/antivirus software firm McAfee soars 58 percent after agreeing to be acquired by Intel for $7.68 billion in cash. At $48 per share, McAfee shareholders will get a 60 percent premium from yesterday’s close of just under $30.

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