For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – September 18, 2023 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: American Eagle Outfitters (
AEO Quick Quote AEO - Free Report) , Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF Quick Quote ANF - Free Report) , Urban Outfitters ( URBN Quick Quote URBN - Free Report) , Carrols Restaurant Group ( TAST Quick Quote TAST - Free Report) and First Watch Restaurant Group ( FWRG Quick Quote FWRG - Free Report) . Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog: 5 Stocks to Make the Most of the Pick Up in Retail Sales
Sales at U.S. retailers picked up in August primarily due to sales at gas stations and as Americans splurged on apparel and dined out more. This calls for investing in retailers such as
American Eagle Outfitters, Abercrombie & Fitch, Urban Outfitters, Carrols Restaurant Group and First Watch Restaurant Group, which are positioned to gain even more. Retail Sales Increase in August, Beat Expectations
The Commerce Department reported that sales at U.S. retailers increased 0.6% in August from July, way more than analysts' estimate of a meager rise of 0.1%. Retail sales grew last month at a slightly faster pace than July's revised reading of a gain of 0.5% and marked the fifth successive monthly increase in sales at retail outlets.
Last month, retail sales increased 2.5% year over year. Additionally, retail sales advanced 2.2% from June through August compared with the year-ago period. Retail sales, in reality, were broad-based as consumers continued to splurge on varied products despite several interest rate hikes initiated by the Federal Reserve in recent times.
Sales at Internet retailers were mostly flat in August after gaining considerably in July, banking on the Amazon Prime Day sales. But auto sales rose a solid 0.3% in August, while sales at bars and restaurants also edged up 0.3%.
Clothing and accessories stores saw sales increase by 0.9%. Spending at gas stations, meanwhile, spiked 5.2% in August. Per AAA, the national average price of gasoline was $3.86 a gallon on Sep 14, the highest in 10 months.
What's Driving Retail Sales?
It's the increase in receipts at gas stations that helped overall retail sales improve. Americans had to spend on fuel due to the surge in oil prices.
Optimism about an increase in demand for oil amid tighter supply through production cuts lifted the price of oil. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries expects the demand for oil to remain robust this year as major oil import economies are expanding. Conversely, foremost oil producers like Russia and Saudi Arabia are willing to extend output cuts till the end of 2023 (read more:
4 Stocks to Gain as Oil Prices Hit 2023 Highs).
Nonetheless, retail sales also improved as Americans felt that the U.S. economy was on a strong footing, and they doled out cash as they felt secure about their job prospects.
The Big Gainers
Given the positives, it's sensible for shrewd investors to bet on retailers who directly benefit from this heartening economic backdrop and an uptick in retail sales.
These stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). Such stocks also have a
VGM Score of A or B. Here V stands for Value, G for Growth, and M for Momentum; the score is a weighted combination of these three metrics. Such a score allows you to eliminate the negative aspects of stocks and select winners. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. American Eagle Outfitters is a specialty retailer of casual apparel, accessories and footwear for men and women. AEO currently has a Zacks Rank #1 and a VGM Score of A. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has increased 21.8% over the past 60 days. The company's expected earnings growth for the current year is 26.8%. Abercrombie & Fitch operates as a specialty retailer of premium, high-quality casual apparel for men, women and kids. ANF currently has a Zacks Rank #1 and a VGM Score of A. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has increased 109.6% over the past 60 days. The company's expected earnings growth for the current year is 1,644%. Urban Outfitters is a lifestyle specialty retailer that offers fashion apparel and accessories. URBN currently has a Zacks Rank #1 and a VGM Score of A. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has increased 17.5% over the past 60 days. The company's expected earnings growth for the current year is 84.6%. Carrols Restaurant Group is the largest Burger King franchisee in the United States. TAST currently has a Zacks Rank #1 and a VGM Score of A. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has increased 1,800% over the past 60 days. The company's expected earnings growth for the current year is 124.3%. First Watch Restaurant Group is a daytime dining restaurant concept serving made-to-order breakfast, brunch and lunch using fresh ingredients. FWRG currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a VGM Score of A. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has increased 20% over the past 60 days. The company's expected earnings growth for the current year is 227.3%. Why Haven't You Looked at Zacks' Top Stocks?
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