Retail Winners Rise to the Top

 | Dec 01, 2011 | 10:35 AM EST  | Comments
  • Comment
  • Print Print
  • Print
Stock quotes in this article:

tjx

,

cost

,

tgt

,

rost

,

m

,

kss

,

pir

,

ltd

,

jwn

,

tif

,

sks

,

lulu

,

gps

,

jcp

Executers know how to execute. Take a look at which retailers did well in a tricky part of the season with the "wrong" weather. The retailers with the good comp numbers are the same ones we have come to expect to do well, the guys who get it and have the right merchandise at the right price points in an attractive setting.

For example, TJX Corp. (TJX) once again delivered that level of consistency that we have come to admire so much, despite its big presence in Europe. Costco (TJX) has the best eye of the group, fantastic merchandise, a treasure-hunt experience, rock-bottom prices -- unlike Target (TGT) -- so it shoots the lights out. No surprise. And Target is truly in Costco's crosshairs.

Ross Stores (ROST) -- when will people believe in these guys? Another 52-week-high on a terrific beat. Macy's (M) has become a delivery machine. They just seem to execute and execute regardless of the weather, and they aren't so apparel-heavy as to be caught (as Kohl's (KSS) obviously was). Pier One (PIR) is not up despite the guide-up, in part because it has run so much. I would take advantage of that one and scoop it up, as this is a major transformation that has multiple years ahead of it.

Limited (LTD) keeps its record of returning money to shareholders with a terrific $2 special dividend as Les Wexner -- no longer spry but certainly my guy -- quietly churns out some terrific profits, led by Victoria's Secret. Nordstrom (JWN) has managed to keep the high end alive as a theme in a time when Tiffany (TIF) has stumbled. The stock motors higher.

The only real surprise of the "surprises" came from Saks (SKS), which has become maddeningly inconsistent and very difficult to game.

The losers ? Lululemon (LULU) seems to have hit a wall, at least when it comes to guidance. It's perceived as still one more overvalued high-growth name when people want lower growth and lower valuation. Kohl's has become a total conundrum. They have the wrong merchandise at the wrong time. Gap (GPS) and JCPenney (JCP) don't deliver, but given their compressed expectations, people brush it off as a chance to snap up stocks that seem to have put in a bottom.

Target? No reason to own it. No momentum. The object of so much competition. Just too easily copied at lower prices. Target was once the darling. Now it is just another retailer in a market where the others are just doing better, period.

Columnist Conversations

Lang:
Cutting bait today on a couple of losers in VLO and VMW. The latter wasn't a horrible loss but the former was...
Just a few days back on July 21, I took a long side play into Chuy's Holdings (CHUY) on a reversal. The thesis...
Shares of Whirlpool (WHR) had been down over 5% in the session after the company reported disappointing earnin...
Lang:
We added some calls yesterday, the Aug 38 strike which are flying high today, we'll hold for a bit longer. Th...

BEST IDEAS

REAL MONEY'S BEST IDEAS

Columnist Tweets

BROKERAGE PARTNERS

Except as otherwise indicated, quotes are delayed. Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes for all exchanges. Market Data provided by Interactive Data. Company fundamental data provided by Morningstar. Earnings and ratings provided by Zacks. Mutual fund data provided by Valueline. ETF data provided by Lipper. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions.


TheStreet Ratings updates stock ratings daily. However, if no rating change occurs, the data on this page does not update. The data does update after 90 days if no rating change occurs within that time period.

IDC calculates the Market Cap for the basic symbol to include common shares only. Year-to-date mutual fund returns are calculated on a monthly basis by Value Line and posted mid-month.