Clothing Retailers Wait For Chico’s FAS Earnings (CHS, CWTR)

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On Tuesday afternoon we’ll get to see earnings out of Chico’s FAS Inc. (NYSE: CHS). The estimates for the specialty womens retailer from First Call are $416.93 million in revenues.  Next quarter estimates are $467.74 million in revenues. Estimates for fiscal Jan-2009 are $1.84 billion in revenues.

Analysts have an average price target north of $9.00, in-line with the current share price.  Chico’s FAS’ 52-week trading range is $6.70 to $27.94.  This is one that we might not normally cover, but it has been one of the uglier womens retail plays out there.  Even with a near-50% recovery from its 52-week lows, this one is still nearly down by about two-thirds from its highs. 

The short interest on this is huge with roughly 18.8 million shares, so anything looking "not horrible" will probably create a short covering parade.  When this one turns, it will turn fast.  Investors just need to know that they are no longer investing in a growth stock if they are buying stock in Chico’s.  Traders will also be watching Coldwater Creek (NASDAQ: CWTR) on this news, as these are the two most compared companies after much of the same target market.

Jon C. Ogg
March 1, 2008

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