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Nordstrom Inc. (JWN - Analyst Report) is set to report third-quarter fiscal 2013 results on Nov 14. Last quarter, it posted a 5.7% positive surprise. Let us see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Growth Factors in the Past Quarter

The company’s impressive merchandise improvement strategies such as customer loyalty and Fashion Reward programs facilitated the mid single-digit top-line growth in the past quarter. Moreover, same-store sales rose 4.4% over the year-ago quarter. Furthermore, we remain impressed with the company’s sustained focus on driving merchandise margins and effective cost management, which helped it to post strong top and bottom-line results.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively project Nordstrom as likely to beat earnings this quarter. A stock needs to have both positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, 2 or 3 to surpass earnings estimates. However, that is not the case here due to the following factors:

Zacks ESP: ESP for Nordstrom is 0.00% since the Most Accurate estimate stands at 66 cents per share, which is in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Zacks #3 Rank (Hold): Nordstrom’s Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of ESP. However, we also need to have a positive ESP to be confident of an earnings surprise call. We caution against stocks with Zacks Rank #4 and 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into earnings announcement, especially when the company is undergoing negative estimate revisions.

Other Stocks to Consider

Nordstrom is not the only firm we are looking up to this earnings season. Our model shows that the following stocks have the right combination to post an earnings beat:

Hanesbrands Inc. (HBI - Analyst Report) with Earnings ESP of +1.11% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY - Analyst Report) with Earnings ESP of +9.09% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Five Below, Inc. (FIVE - Snapshot Report) with Earnings ESP of +25.00% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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