This week, several key players in the retail sector are slated to reveal their quarterly earnings. The spotlight is on companies navigating these turbulent waters in a year marked by economic challenges and fluctuating consumer confidence. Those prioritizing discount goods over discretionary items have emerged as industry leaders.
Predicting Earnings Surprises
Investors eyeing these retail giants have a powerful tool at their disposal—Zacks Earnings ESP (Expected Surprise Prediction). This tool aims to identify companies experiencing positive earnings estimate revisions, leveraging the belief that recent information holds predictive power during earnings season.
Historically, combining a Zacks Rank #3 or better with a positive Earnings ESP has yielded positive surprises 70% of the time, boasting a 28.3% average annual return over a 10-year period.
Earnings Anticipation In Retail
In the challenging landscape of retail, this year has been a litmus test for what resonates with consumers. Despite varied stock performances, all eyes are on a group of retailers forecasted to beat earnings estimates, indicating a bullish sentiment among analysts.
Walmart, a standout performer this year with a 20.3% year-to-date rally, holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The retail giant’s strategic focus on discount offerings and a robust e-commerce expansion have contributed to its success. Walmart’s Q3 earnings report, set for November 16, is anticipated to exceed estimates, with a Zacks ESP forecasting a 0.8% beat.
The TJX Companies
Benefiting from its discount pricing strategy, TJX Companies has seen an 18% YTD gain. Operating across 4,900 stores in nine countries, this off-price retailer is set to report earnings on November 15. The Zacks ESP projects a 2.6% earnings beat, reflecting a mixed earnings outlook.
With a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), Ross Stores has capitalized on the discount retail trend, gaining 10% YTD. Expected to report on November 16, the Zacks ESP suggests a 2.08% earnings beat. Ross Stores offers in-season, branded, and designer merchandise at prices 20% to 60% below regular department store rates.
Facing headwinds this year, Target’s stock has dipped by -23.7% YTD. Target reported on November 15 that it had experienced a significant drop in comparable sales as consumers cut back on discretionary spending. Despite a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), indicating falling earnings estimates, there’s a glimmer of hope with a Zacks Earnings ESP projecting a 1.97% earnings beat.
While Walmart continues to lead the pack, Target’s dip in valuation raises questions about its future trajectory. Investors are advised to stay vigilant and monitor shifts in earnings estimates for potential investment opportunities in this dynamic retail landscape.
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