Three Retailers To Watch Ahead Of Black Friday

Updated on

As Black Friday draws near more stores are announcing that they will start sales early by opening on Thanksgiving itself. American personal expenditure on non-durable goods is slowly going up (see graph below). Despite a slump at the beginning of the year, dollars spent in the early summer showed a positive change of .28%. But American real disposable income per capita is lower than last year. In fact, department stores like Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) reported disappointing sales in the last quarter partly due to consumer health. Sluggish sales this year are going to be compounded by the shortest shopping and holiday season possible, a full 6 days shorter than usual because of a late Thanksgiving. Since the holiday shopping season can generate as much as 40% of annual revenues for some retailers, its little wonder then that Retail Trade is banking on Thanksgiving as well as Black Friday to make up for lost revenues.

Free snapshot reports on all 3 Black Friday stocks. Get our star ratings and scores for all fundamentals and dividend quality!


Graph of Personal Consumption Expenditures: Nondurable Goods

There is however some good news for Black Friday stocks i.e. stocks of companies that could see a surge in revenue during the holiday season. American Express released a consumer survey that showed that consumers intend to start their holiday shopping sooner and spend $400 more than last year. To capitalize on this almost 800 Macy’s stores will open at 8pm on Thanksgiving. Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS) and J. C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) have also announced they will open on Turkey Day. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) have already been open previously on the last Thursday in November. Opening a few hours earlier than usual might give a much needed boost to many businesses. Brick and mortar stores will however still need to compete with e-commerce; up until August, retail had only grown around 3% whereas e-commerce sales were up over 8%. A Deloitte survey reveals that 47% of consumers intend to shop online this year for the holidays. Possibly because Black Friday lines and frenzies are well known; consumers have previously smashed doors at Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) and there have been stampedes in stores.

3 Black Friday Stocks: Retail & Department Stores

We examine 3 Black Friday stocks from a fundamental perspective. What does each of these companies have  going in its favor as consumer spending continues to increase? All three companies have both brick and mortar stores as well as online channels for shoppers. Analysis Notes: (i) CapitalCube’s analysis ispeer-based and in the analysis below each company has been analyzed relative to its peer set (ii) The words median and average are used inter-changeably and refer to the peer median (iii) Readers can access our analysis on over 40,000 companies by registering with us.

Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M)

Macy’s operates under two brands: Macy’s and Bloomingdales. It’s flagship store in Herald Square, New York is one of the largest stores in the world at 2.2 million square feet. The company began a $400 million renovation project of the store due for completion this November. Macy’s is on our list of Black Friday stocks  because our fundamental analysis shows that compared to its peers, the company has better control over its costs. In a highly competitive retail season this could be advantageous. Even though changes in Macy’s revenues are in-line with its peers (annual revenue changed by 4.9%) its earnings performance has actually been better — its annual earnings changed by 6.3% (compared to the average of 2.4%). The department store chain currently manages to convert every 1% of change in revenue into 1.3% of change in annual reported earnings. Our analysis also shows that the company’s recent returns have improved versus the last five years (see the graph below). Macy’s current return on assets is 6.6% (the same as its peers). This recent performance contrasts with its less than peer median return on assets over the past five years (-0.3% versus the average of 3.9%). The company’s relative operating performance seems to be improving.

Macy's Inc (NYSE:M) Operating Performance relative to TJX, TGT, KSS, SHLD, SKS etc. 3 Black Friday stocks

Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN)

Urban Outfitters, Inc. is a lifestyle retail company, which operates retail clothing stores as well as a wholesale division. The Retail segment consists of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain, Leifsdottir and BHLDN brands, whose merchandise is sold directly through stores, web sites and other channels. The Wholesale segment consists of Free People division. Urban Outfitters attempts to achieve high profit margins (currently 9.0% vs. 6.5% on average ) through differentiated products. It currently operates with peer average asset turns of 1.5x. The company also supports growth; in the past three years its annualized rate of change in capital (1.5%)  is higher than average (-1.0%) and this investment has generated an above average return on capital for Urban Outfitters (18.2% in the same period). This is evidence that the relatively high capital investment has been successful given the relatively strong growth in its returns. Finally, it also seems as if the market sees faster growth ahead for the company (see graph below). While the company’s revenues growth has been around average in recent years (13.0% vs. 12.1% peer average for the past three years), the market gives its shares a higher than peer median PE ratio of 21.2. For all these reasons Urban Outfitters is on our Black Friday stocks list.

Black Friday Stocks: URBN: Superior Growth Expectaitons for Urban Outfitters stock

Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN)

Nordstrom, Inc. retails apparel, shoes, cosmetics and accessories. It owns and operates stores and operates through two reportable segments: Retail and Credit. Nordstrom is on our Black Friday stocks list because our Earnings leverage analysis reveals the company is a leader compared to its peers; its year-on-year change in revenues and earnings are both above the peer average. Nordstrom currently converts every 1% of change in annual revenue into 0.7% of change in annual reported earnings. The company also seems to have relatively tight control on operating costs as suggested by its relatively high pre-tax margin. Nordstrom’s gross margin of 42.2% is around average suggesting that Nordstom’s operations do not benefit from any differentiating pricing advantage. However, its pre-tax margin is more than the peer average (9.9% compared to 7.9%) suggesting better operating cost control than peers.

Black Friday Stock Nordstrom Earnings Leverage (NYSE:JWN)


 Free snapshot reports on all 3 Black Friday stocks. Get our star ratings and scores for all fundamentals and dividend quality!


Of course, department store stocks and apparel and footwear aren’t the only Black Friday stocks to consider. On average holiday sales have increased 3.3% for the last 10 years according to the National Retail Federation; this year the NRF is projecting a 3.9% increase which would bring sales to over $600 billion. Online merchants, specialty gift stores, electronics stores and shipping companies all stand to benefit. With over 700,000 seasonal employees being hired it might also help push consumer expenditure up. The only question remains whether turkey and pumpkin pie sales might notice a dip with so many employees being at work and away from their families.

Related articles from our archives:

JCPenney (JCP) Earnings: Are brand loyalty and coupons enough?, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) 2013 Earnings Analysis, 2012 Earnings Analysis: Macy’s Inc. (NYSE:M) and 2012 Earnings Analysis: TJX Cos. (NYSE:TJX).


Leave a Comment