All eyes are on the department stores this holiday season. Macy's Inc. (M - Analyst Report) has been a solid performer, surprising on the Zacks Consensus Estimate 6 quarters in a row. Even as the shares hit new 3-year highs, this Zacks #1 Rank (strong buy) has remained a value stock with a forward P/E of just 11.
Macy's operates 850 department stores under the brands Macy's and Bloomingdale's in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.
It also is an online retailer using the websites macys.com and bloomingdales.com.
Strong Black Friday Boosts November
Macy's is one of the few remaining retailers to provide monthly sales guidance so we have a pretty good idea about what is going on every 4 weeks.
On Dec 1, Macy's reported November same store sales rose 4.8% to $2.5 billion. It had a strong Black Friday at both Macy's and Bloomingdale's after opening at midnight instead of the usual 4 am or 5 am.
Through November, year to date sales were up 5.6% to $20.1 billion from $19.1 billion. The same store sales were up 5.2% year to date.
Online sales continue to hum, rising 49.6% in November. They are included in the same-store sales calculations so we don't really know how much of a contribution the online sales are making.
For the fiscal fourth quarter, Macy's kept its previous guidance of same-store sales growth up 4% to 4.5%. However, if same-store sales stay as hot as November, the company will exceed the guidance.
Analysts Are Still Bullish
Analysts are bullish about fiscal 2012 and 2013. In the last 30 days, 4 estimates moved higher for 2012, pushing the Zacks Consensus up to $2.79 from $2.77.
That is earnings growth of 32% as the company made just $2.11 in fiscal 2011.
Analysts also expect double digit growth in fiscal 2013. In just the last week, one estimate moved higher, pushing the 2013 Zacks Consensus Estimate up to $3.15 from $3.13.
That is earnings growth of another 13.1%.
Shares Are Hot
Macy's has been a hot story coming out of the recession. Shares have moved higher along with the earnings.
Yet there is still a lot of value.
In addition to a P/E of just 11, which is under the S&P average of 12.5, Macy's has other value characteristics.
Its price-to-book ratio is 2.3. A P/B ratio under 3.0 usually indicates there is value.
Macy's also has a price-to-sales ratio of only 0.5. A P/S ratio under 1.0 can mean a company is undervalued.
Shareholders also are rewarded with a dividend, currently yielding 1.3%.
Macy's has seemed to find the sweet spot the last few years as it caters to shoppers in between value and luxury. Can it keep up the double digit growth next year?
Tracey Ryniec is the Value Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. She is also the Editor of the Turnaround Trader and Insider Trader services. You can follow her on twitter at traceyryniec.