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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Retail Review: Same-Store Sales Reports


By William Trent, CFA of Stock Market Beat

Jos a Bank (JOSB): Men’s clothing retailer JoS. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. said Thursday that sales at stores open at least one year, or same-store sales, increased 8.5 percent for the month of June, easily beating Wall Street expectations for a 4.3 percent boost.

BJ’s Wholesale (BJ): June sales fell 0.1 percent at its stores open at least a year as record-breaking rainfall hurt demand, and it lowered its quarterly profit forecast. Analysts, on average, expected 2.4 percent growth, according to estimates compiled by Reuters.

TJX Companies (TJX): Discount clothing retailer TJX Cos. on Thursday said June same-store sales rose 4 percent, beating both internal and Wall Street estimates, and prompting the company to estimate second-quarter earnings will be at or above the high end of its previous forecast.

Wall Street expected same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, to add 2.7 percent, according to Thomson Financial.

Other Notable Retailers

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and other top U.S. retailers posted disappointing June sales on Thursday as soaring energy prices and record-breaking rains in the Northeast curbed consumer spending.

But mid-priced chains such as J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP) and Kohl’s Corp. (KSS) reported strong gains, suggesting that some shoppers stayed away from more expensive department stores. Federated Department Stores Inc. (FD), owner of Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, recorded lower-than-expected sales.

Overall, sales rose 2.8 percent at stores open at least a year — a key retail measure known as same-store sales. That was slightly below forecasts for a 3 percent gain, according to research firm Retail Metrics.

Apparel retailer Limited Brands Inc. (LTD), warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST), and home decor chain Pier 1 Imports Inc. (PIR) were among the chains missing Wall Street’s sales targets.

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