It is not hard for most investors to realize the damage the severe winter weather has inflicted on the economy. From car sales to cancelled airline flights to empty stores, it has indeed been a retail winter of discontent. With the calendar pushing toward spring, and temperatures finally lifting in the south, some of the top retail names look ready to rebound.
In a new research report, the analysts at Deutsche Bank say there may be some huge opportunity for investors to buy some of the top retail names. The team at Deutsche Bank think the set-up is better for retailers where expectations are low and where there is less of a concern regarding secular or structural issues. In other words, if the market views weak fourth-quarter comparisons being a result of weather and the shorter selling period, and nothing else, then the market reaction should be muted.
Deutsche Bank has five top retail picks for investors to buy now.
Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY) has been absolutely destroyed since announcing weak holiday sales numbers. The stock more than tripled last year as the company met its rivals head-on with price-matching policies that largely eliminated the advantages of its competitors. More importantly, its store-within-store formats for makers of popular mobile devices and computers have drawn interest from major manufacturers, letting Best Buy take advantage of its retail space to give it competitive advantages that online retailers cannot match. Investors are paid a 2.7% dividend. The Deutsche Bank price target is $36, and the Thomson/First Call estimate has fallen to $33.86. Best Buy closed Tuesday at $24.99, down more than 40% from its high.
Dicks Sporting Goods Inc. (DKS) is the top name in the sporting goods arena, and it has been a top portfolio manager name for the past few years. The company is gearing up for huge growth and intends to significantly build its store base to more than 800 -- a greater-than 300 store increase. Investors are paid a 1% dividend. The Deutsche Bank price target is $65. The consensus target is $60.68. Shares closed Tuesday at $51.80.
Lowe's Companies Inc. (LOW) is one retail name really looking forward to spring. The stock is off almost 10% year-to-date, and once again investors may have a solid entry point to this home improvement blue chip. As the housing market begins to pick up again in the spring, business should improve there as well. Investors are paid a 1.5% dividend. The Deutsche Bank price target is $53, and the consensus target is $52.86. Lowe's closed Tuesday at $46.93.
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Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST is another top retail name that may be poised to shrug off a poor January. With the economy growing slowly, consumers are expected to still flock to the off-price retailers looking for bargains. The stock is down more than 15% from its highs, which may be giving investors a prime entry point. Investors are paid a small 1% dividend. The Deutsche Bank and consensus price targets are $81 and $77.88, respectively. Ross Stores closed Tuesday at $68.32.
TJX Companies Inc. (TJX) is another top stock idea as it is the low-price leader in retail. To build its e-commerce infrastructure, T.J. Maxx bought online off-price retailer Sierra Trading Post for $200 million in cash last December. Fashion bloggers are gushing over the new T.J. Maxx online selection, especially "The Runway," which is devoted to luxury designers. Pent-up demand to buy online clearly exists. Growing online sales and increased store traffic may bode well for this top name to buy. Investors are paid a 1% dividend. The Deutsche Bank price target is $69, the consensus target is $66.88 and TJX companies closed Tuesday at $60.23.
While guidance may stay conservative, pent-up demand from the weather imposed shopping embargo may be greater than anybody currently expects. The Deutsche Bank analysts favor the bargain off-price retailers, which makes sense. They have been market leaders for the past couple of years, and one bad quarter doesn't stop their retail prowess.