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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Fossil, RH, Office Depot, Urban Outfitters and Darden Restaurants

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – December 28, 2018 – 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: Fossil Group, Inc. (FOSL - Free Report) , RH (RH - Free Report) , Office Depot, Inc. (ODP - Free Report) , Urban Outfitters, Inc. (URBN - Free Report) and Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Craft a Standout Portfolio for 2019 with These 5 Retail Stocks

Santa Claus finally arrived on Wall Street on Wednesday for investors with all three major indices staging an astounding comeback from the bearish territory. Lately, the market got upset from the partial government shutdown, President’s comment over the Fed Chairman and other geopolitical tensions. However, recent positive remarks from the White House, recovery in oil prices and the news that holiday retail sales rose at their best pace in six years provided a much-needed boost.

Major indices like the S&P 500, NASDAQ and Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 5%, 5.8% and 5%, respectively, on Dec 26. We note that apart from Tech and Energy stocks, Retail and Consumer stocks also made their way to the list of best performers. Notably, SPDR S&P Retail ETF and Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund rose 5.7% and 5.9%, respectively, yesterday.

Retail stocks rose following a report from Mastercard SpendingPulse that stated sales from Nov 1 through Dec 24 increased 5.1% to more than $850 billion. Meanwhile, online sales surged 19.1% during the aforementioned period. Rise in sales not only add to the holiday euphoria but also provide an opportune time to invest in retail stocks for 2019.

Per the latest Earnings Preview the Zacks Retail-Wholesale sector is likely to register top and bottom line growth of 5.7% and 9.5%, respectively, in the next financial year. The sector typically performs well in a maturing economic cycle. Improving labor market, rising disposable income and elevated consumer sentiment have ushered confidence in retailers.

Having said that we believe the sector offers lucrative opportunities for investors. Here we have highlighted five Retail-Wholesale stocks with a favorable combination of a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and a VGM Score of A or B. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

5 Prominent Picks

Investors can count on Fossil Group, Inc., which designs, develops, markets and distributes consumer fashion accessories. This Zacks Rank #1 company’s bottom line has outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a wide margin in the trailing four quarters. Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate of earnings for 2019 has surged 58.8% to $1.54 over the past 60 days and reflects a sharp year-over-year improvement of roughly 49%.

RH, a home furnishing retailer, is a solid bet with a long-term earnings growth rate of 17.5%. This Zacks Rank #1 company has delivered average positive earnings surprise of 23.5% in the trailing four quarters. Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate of earnings for fiscal 2019 has improved 15% to $9.49 over the past 30 days and reflects year-over-year growth of 13.1%.

You can also consider Office Depot, Inc., an office supply retailing company. This Zacks Rank #2 company has delivered average positive earnings surprise of 11.9% in the trailing four quarters. Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate of earnings for 2019 has risen by a couple of cents to 39 cents over the past 60 days and reflects year-over-year growth of 18.2%.

Urban Outfitters, Inc., a lifestyle products and services company, is another lucrative option. The stock has a long-term earnings growth rate of 11.2%. This Zacks Rank #2 company has delivered average positive earnings surprise of 14.5% in the trailing four quarters. Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate of earnings for the next financial year has increased by 4 cents to $2.93 over the past 60 days and reflects year-over-year growth of 7.3%.

We also suggest investing in Darden Restaurants, Inc., which owns and operates full-service restaurants. This Zacks Rank #2 company has a long-term earnings growth rate of 9.7%. Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate of earnings for the next financial year has risen by 5 cents to $6.26, reflecting year-over-year increase of 10.5%.

In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top tickers to buy and hold for the entirety of 2019?

These 10 are painstakingly handpicked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. They are our primary picks poised to outperform in the year ahead. Be among the first to see the new Zacks Top 10 Stocks >>

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.



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