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Retailer Trifecta: Wal-Mart, Kohl’s & Nordstrom; Cisco Plummets; Dell to Deliver Early

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Wal-Mart (WMT), narrowly missing estimates for the quarter. The company released its report at 7am. It shows the world's largest retailer making $1.24 a share, a penny short of the consensus. Revenue was a whopping $116.9-billion, but that was shy of the $118.5-billion that was expected.

Kohl's (KSS) like Wal-Mart has missed earnings estimates by a penny. The company says it made $1.04 a share when expectations were for $1.05. Revenue was right in line with predictions for $4.29 billion. Profits for the chain are down about 4% from a year ago and the company is now lowering the top end of its guidance for the year. Kohl's is up 20% year-to-date with about half those gains realized in January.

Cisco (CSCO) has been down as much as 10% since yesterday's closing bell when it reported earnings. The actual numbers were rather close to estimates with earnings of 52-cents a share after adjustments, and revenues of $12.42 billion. That top line number was a 6% rise over last year. But the company announced it will be laying off 4,000 workers, because it believes a slowdown is ahead. Prior to this morning, Cisco was up 30% year-to-date, largely on a spike after it reported earnings last quarter.

Dell (DELL) reports after the closing bell. The company was originally going to report next week, but just moved-up its release. Profits for the quarter are expected to be less than half of what they were last year: 24-cents a share compared to 50-cents, though on revenue which has dropped just slightly. Dell says it decided to report today because of quote "heightened interest" in the company. But it denies the move had anything to do with Carl Icahn's case against the company, even though a hearing is scheduled for tomorrow. Icahn is suing to force a special vote on Michael Dell's proposed $25-billion buyout of the company. Dell stock is up 28% in 2013, mostly on CEO Dell's original buyout offer at the start of the year.

Nordstrom (JWN) is another retailer taking part in today's earning's parade. The company is expected to post profits of 88-cents a share when it reports this afternoon. That would be an increase from 75-cents a year ago on revenues climbing further away from the $3-billion. Nordstrom has been facing the all-too familiar challenge of showrooming, so analysts want to see how its legendary customer service is counteracting the trend. Nordstrom has in fact been pushing free shipping to compete with the likes of Amazon (AMZN). Shares of Nordstrom are up a relatively modest 11% so far this year.

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