U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 6 mins

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Asbury Automotive, Conn's, Kohl's, DICK'S Sporting Goods and Children's Place

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 19, 2018 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. ABG, Conn's, Inc. CONN, Kohl's Corp. KSS, DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. DKS and The Children's Place, Inc. PLCE.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

5 Stocks to Buy as Retail Sales Rebound in October

Retail sales staged a strong rebound in October following small declines over the last two months. Spending increased on building materials and motor vehicles, a result of rebuilding efforts, following the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Florence. Gas station sales also surged, indicating a jump in oil prices.

This effect will likely recede following the recent plunge in oil prices. But a robust labor market and fresh signs of wage growth will continue to support spending on categories that gained in October. This includes department stores and clothing outlets. This is why it makes good sense to invest in such retail stocks.

Consumer Spending Robust at Start of Q4

According to the Department of Commerce, retail sales increased 0.8% in the month of October, exceeding the consensus estimate of 0.5%. However, September’s initial increase of 0.1% was revised downward to reflect a decline of 0.1%. Excluding auto dealers and gas stations, retail sales increased 0.3%.

Year over year, retail sales increased 4.6%. Further, core retail sales, which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials and food services, increased 0.3%. This metric closely corresponds to the consumer spending component of GDP.

Overall, the report indicates that consumer spending was in good shape at the start of the fourth quarter. Despite concerns about trade deficit, this engine of expansion is likely to maintain strong growth for the economy going ahead.

A robust labor market, along with an unemployment rate of 3.7%, the lowest since December 1969 is supporting consumer spending. Record low unemployment has also caused wages to grow at their fastest pace since early 2009 in October.   

Autos, Gasoline, Building Materials Lead Gains

Strength in retail sales is a positive sign ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season. Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers increased 1.1% last month. Also, building material store sales increased 1%. Both these increases were the fallout of the havoc caused by Hurricane Florence as residents replaced damaged vehicles and repaired homes.

Sales at gasoline stations jumped 3.5%, reflecting the strength in oil prices prevailing during October. The current slump in crude oil indicates that this trend will likely fade away as prices at the pump decline.

Department stores registered a 1.3% increase in sales, while sales at clothing and accessories stores increased 0.5%. Electronics and appliance stores reported a 0.7% rise in sales. Spending increased on hobbies, musical instruments, sporting goods and books by 0.5%.

However, sales at food services and drinking places declined 0.2%, the likely fallout of Hurricane Michael which slammed into the Florida panhandle in mid-October. Sales at furniture and home furnishing stores declined 0.7%, weighed down by the slowdown in housing, following the recent spike in interest rates.  

Our Choices

October’s increase in retail sales indicates that consumer spending retained sufficient steam at the beginning of the fourth quarter. This in turn is being supported by record low unemployment, which also fueled a spurt in wage growth last month.

These trends are also likely to continue supporting the economy in the near term. This is why it makes sense to invest in retail stocks, especially the categories which have gained substantially last month. However, picking winning stocks may be difficult.

This is where our VGM Score comes in. Here V stands for Value, G for Growth and M for Momentum and the score is a weighted combination of these three scores. Such a score allows you to eliminate the negative aspects of stocks and select winners. However, it is important to keep in mind that each Style Score will carry a different weight while arriving at a VGM Score. 

We have narrowed down our search to the following stocks based on a good Zacks Rank and VGM Score.

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. is one of the largest automotive retailers in the United States.

Asbury Automotive carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and has a VGM Score of A. The company has expected earnings growth of 27.4% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 5% over the last 30 days.

Conn's, Inc. is a specialty retailer of consumer durable goods in the United States.

Conn's has a VGM Score of B. The company’s expected earnings growth for the current year is more than 100%. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Kohl's Corp. is a department store chain that operates specialty department stores and an e-commerce site in the United States.

Kohl's has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and VGM Score of A. The company has expected earnings growth of 30.7% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 0.3% over the last 30 days.

DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. operates as a full-line sporting goods retailer.

DICK'S Sporting Goods carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a VGM Score of A. The company has expected earnings growth of 4.5% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 0.1% over the last 60 days.

The Children's Place, Inc.is a pure-play children's specialty apparel retailer.

The Children's Place carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a VGM Score of B. The company has expected earnings growth of 4% for the current year.

Today's Stocks from Zacks' Hottest Strategies

It's hard to believe, even for us at Zacks. But while the market gained +21.9% in 2017, our top stock-picking screens have returned +115.0%, +109.3%, +104.9%, +98.6%, and +67.1%.

And this outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. Over the years it has been remarkably consistent. From 2000 - 2017, the composite yearly average gain for these strategies has beaten the market more than 19X over. Maybe even more remarkable is the fact that we're willing to share their latest stocks with you without cost or obligation.

See Them Free>>

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year.See these high-potential stocks free >>.

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

support@zacks.com

https://www.zacks.com/

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (ABG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Children's Place, Inc. (The) (PLCE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Conn's, Inc. (CONN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. (DKS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Kohl's Corporation (KSS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research