Retail Business Daily (TGT, GPS, RAD, AEO, ANF, GYMB, RTH)

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Today’s Retail Business Daily has a roundup of names in the retail sector that are responding to changes and news in the Industry. The market continues to improve for many top retailers. A combination of an early Easter and improved consumer spending has left many companies in the sector with strong same store sales reports for March-though against easy comparisons on a year-over-year basis. This weeks earnings and same store sales reporting is creating price moves and/or strong volume in a number of companies including Target Corp (NYSE: TGT), Gap Inc., (NYSE:GPS), Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD), American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), Abercrombie and Fitch (NYSE: ANF), Gymboree Corp (Nasdaq: GYMB) and JC Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP).

Recent Same Store Sales, Price action and Volume are included.

Target Corp (NYSE:TGT)-This bellwether retailer saw its stock price gap up over 3% on earnings and same store sales this morning. Traders jumped all over this one after the company reported that April net sales experienced a 12.5% increase from $6.233 million to $5,543 on a year-over-year basis. March same store sales were 10.3% as the company joined top performers for the quarter in the sector. The company expects earnings to exceed current first quarter street estimates of 74 cents by about 10 cents. The stock is currently $55.69 and has big volume with 8.9 million shares already trading. Average volume is in the 6.4 million range.

Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS)– Shares of Gap moved up over 4.5% on this mornings report with March same store sales up 11% on a year-over-year basis. A top performer in the group this week GAP showed same store sales strength in all four major divisions which include Gap North America, Banana Republic, Old Navy and International. Net sales for the April quarter were up from $2.08 billion to $2.28 billion on a year-over-year basis. Current price action in the stock is a continuation of an upward trend since late February. With over 11.8 million shares traded GAP has already exceeded its average volume of 8.8 million. The stock is currently at $24.53 up 2.85 % on the day…”

Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD)-Shares of this drugstore retailer are down 4.93% at $1.35 as the company reports March same store sales down 0.1%. Rite Aid also saw revenues at $6.7 billion-a 3.6% year-over-year decline and a 24 cent per share loss. Competitive pressures may be hurting the company as Walgreen Company (NYSE: WAG) reported year-over-year same store sales up 2.3 for March earlier in the week. The 52 week range for the stock is $0.40 – $2.35. The current stock price continues a downward trend from the $1.74 level in late March. The company is generating big volume with 16 million shares traded vs. a 7.6 million average.

American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO)-This teen retailer sold off after today’s news. The company reported that the last 5 weeks ended April 3rd produced a 15% increase in sales. Traders seem to have some uncertainty in this brand name retailer as it is trading at $17.55 down 5.82%.  Still, the 52 week range is $11.70-$19.86 so the stock is not far from its high. AEO has already nearly doubled its daily volume with 9.7 million shares trading.

Abercrombie and Fitch (NYSE: ANF)-is one of the few retailers to disappoint analysts with March same store sales of 5% vs. street expectations of 8.4%. Net sales for the company’s recently reported 5 week period ending April 3rd was up 19% with year to date sales up 18% on a year-over-year basis. ANF shares rebounded from a $45.60 open today and is $46.30 down 1.24%. With a 52 week range of $22.40 to $48.25 the stock is still not far off it’s high. Share volume is large with 5.3 million shares trading against a daily average of $3.7 million.

Gymboree Corp (NASDAQ: GYMB)-The street seems to be focusing on upcoming same store sales. GYMB increased earnings guidance for the upcoming period ending May 1st to $0.93 to $0.96 cents from prior guidance of $0.90 to $0.94 cents. Yet the company’s mention of an upcoming mid single digit increase in same store sales seems to be uninspiring to the street. Shares are at $52.70 down $2.57 or 4.65%.

JC Penney Company, Inc (NYSE: JCP)-This well-known retailer is down $1.79 or 5.47%.  Investors are a bit worried about future department store sales and JCP missed analyst same store sales numbers with a 5.5% increase instead of the widely expected 5.7%. Shares are down on big volume with 8.4 million shares trading against an average of 5.4 million.

One of the key retail stock ETFs was up along with the sector today.  Retail HOLDRs (NYSE: RTH) was up 1.4% at $103.35 shortly before the closing bell.

by Steve Gear