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Research Daily

Thursday May 11, 2017

Stocks started today’s session in the red, on downbeat earnings results from Macy’s (M) and Kohl’s (KSS) and a hotter than expected wholesale inflation reading that adds to the likelihood of a Fed rate move at the June FOMC meeting. Tomorrow’s CPI reading has assumed relatively more significance following this morning’s PPI report.

Macy’s and the broader department store space has been struggling for a while given their inability to adjust to the changing consumer spending landscape of growing online sales weighing on foot traffic in the brick-and-mortar facilities. Macy’s results were a bit more disappointing this morning as it not only came out with a bigger than expected decline in same-store sales but also missed consensus EPS and revenue estimates. Kohl’s did better with respect to EPS and revenue results, on the back of disciplined inventory management, but same-store sales missed the mark.

We provide the Q1 earnings season scorecard for the Retail sector below, but please note that this daily publication features the best research output of the Zacks analyst team. In today’s write-up, we are featuring analyst reports on 16 major stocks, including reports on NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA), PNC Financial (PNC) and Anthem (ANTM). These reports have been hand-picked from amongst the 70 or so stock research reports published by our analyst team today. You can see all of today’s research reports here >>

Retail Sector Scorecard (as of Thursday, May 11th)

Including this morning’s releases from Macy’s and Kohl’s, we now have Q1 results from 23 of the 42 retailers in the S&P 500 index (for the index as whole, we now have results from 452 members). Total earnings for these 23 retailers are up +1.9% from the same period last year on +4.7% higher revenues, with 56.5% beating EPS estimates and an equal proportion beating revenue estimates.

Please note that we have a stand-alone Retail sector, unlike the official Standard & Poor’s placement of this space in the Consumer Discretionary sector. The Zacks Retail sector includes, besides the traditional department stores and other brick-and-mortar retailers, the online vendors like Amazon and Priceline and restaurant operators. Most of the 23 Zacks Retail sector companies that have reported Q1 results already at this stage are online vendors and restaurant players, with the traditional retail operators starting the reporting process with this morning’s Macy’s disappointment.

The aggregate results from the 23 retailers that have reported Q1 results already are tracking below what we had seen from the same companies in other recent periods. This is despite the +41.1% growth in Amazon’s earnings on +22.6% higher revenues. On an ex-Amazon basis, the sector’s Q1 earnings growth would be modestly in the negative.

You can read more about our views about this earnings season in the weekly Earnings Trends report  >>> Strong Earnings Season Winding Down

Today’s Featured Research Reports

NVIDIA shares have surged following the strong quarterly report on Tuesday that eased some of the earlier worries about the company's exposure to a slowing gaming market. The stock was a standout performer last year, but was modestly in the red through the May 9th earnings release. But it is now up +18.3% since the start of the year following the market's enthusiastic reception to its earnings report. The Zacks analyst likes NVIDIA’s innovative product pipeline and strength in gaming and high-end notebook GPUs. The stock has had impressive run over the past year and the market's post-earnings response indicates that the momentum likely has staying power. (You can read the full research report on NVIDIA here >>>)

Shares of Buy rated PNC Financial outperformed the Zacks Regional Banks industry over the last six months gaining +13.3% vs. +8.8%. The Zacks analyst likes the company’s efforts to generate positive operating leverage through its cost-saving initiatives. Also, management projects revenues to rise at a mid-single digit rate in 2017, aided by loan growth. Further, its deal to acquire the commercial and vendor finance business of ECN Capital is expected to be marginally accretive to earnings in 2017. On the flip side, the bank remains vulnerable to developments on the interest rate, which have stabilized lately, but still remain below the March level. (You can read the full research report on PNC Financial here >>>)

Buy rated Anthem shares gained +25.3% year to date compared with the Zacks HMO industry’s increase of +12.9%. The company reported better-than-expected first quarter results with earnings surpassing expectations and increasing year over year. The Zacks analyst likes the company’s diverse product portfolio, divestitures, prudent capital management, modest cash position, strategic acquisitions and ACO arrangements. Although its proposed merger with Cigna has been blocked, this month the company made another move to salvage the deal. However, high debt levels and a weak public exchange business pose risks for Anthem's future earnings. (You can read the full research report on Anthem here >>>)

Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Restaurant Brands (QSR), Marathon Petroleum (MPC) and TE Connectivity (TEL).

Free Access: All Zacks Research Reports
Starting today, you are invited to download in-depth analysis reports covering more than 1,000 of the most widely followed stocks. Valued at $25 each, they are yours to consult over the next 30 days absolutely free. They feature sensitive Zacks Rank information on each stock that you won't find anywhere else. See the reports free >>

Sheraz Mian

Director of Research

Note: Sheraz Mian heads the Zacks Equity Research department and is a well-regarded expert of aggregate earnings. He is frequently quoted in the print and electronic media and publishes the weekly Earnings Trends and Earnings Preview reports. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, please click here >>>

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