Kohl’s, Nordstrom’s Q1 Moral Victories Simply Aren’t Good Enough

Big-name retail stocks Macy’s Inc M, J C Penney Company Inc JCP, Nordstrom, Inc. JWN and Kohl’s Corporation KSS all reported earnings over the past two days, and all four stocks have been hammered.

While 2017 is off to a rough start for U.S. retail stocks, Nordstrom was the lone member of the group of four that was able to deliver positive sales growth in the first quarter.

But even the relatively strong Q1 numbers from Nordstrom, including a 3 percent year-over-year uptick in sales and an EPS beat of $0.37 compared to expectations of $0.28 were not good enough to keep the stock afloat.

Baird’s Commentary

Baird analyst Mark Altschwager said market expectations for Nordstrom were a notch higher than those of its peers, and the company didn’t deliver a strong enough quarter to live up.

“The bar appeared higher for JWN following strong recent share performance, and a comp/gross margin miss may not be enough to satisfy elevated expectations,” Altschwager explained.

His prediction was correct, as Nordstrom shares are now down 16.5 percent, JC Penney shares are down 16.6 percent and Macy’s shares are down 19.0 percent in the last two days. Even Kohl’s, which has been a relative outperformer, has endured a 9.5 percent two-day selloff.

Altschwager said Kohl’s may be holding its own compared to Macy’s and JC Penney, but the company’s trends are still nothing to get excited about as it fights to fend off e-commerce competition from Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN and others.

“The overpowering sound of Amazon gobbling up share is drowning…

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