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Factors Likely to Influence Nordstrom (JWN) in Q4 Earnings

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Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN - Free Report) is scheduled to release fourth-quarter fiscal 2019 numbers on Mar 3, after the closing bell. In the last reported quarter, the fashion specialty retailer recorded a positive earnings surprise of 24.6%. In the trailing four quarters, the company’s bottom line outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.2%, on average.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal fourth-quarter earnings is pegged at $1.48, flat with the year-ago period’s reported figure. Notably, the consensus estimate has gone down by a penny in the past 30 days. The consensus mark for sales is pegged at $4.57 billion, indicating growth of 1.9% from the year-ago reported figure.

Nordstrom, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise


Factors at Play

Nordstrom’s several growth initiatives such as omni-channel expansion and customer-based strategy bode well for the fourth quarter. Moreover, its efforts in the technology space, including boosting e-commerce and digital networks as well as improving supply-chain channels and marketing initiatives, are likely to have worked in its favor. Apart from these, fourth-quarter results might reflect gains from cost savings and the company’s loyalty program.

Further, it has been progressing well with its store-expansion strategy as part of its efforts to gain market share. In doing so, it has been investing in the top North American markets to offer products with same-day pickup or next-day delivery. The opening of stores should have boosted traffic, thereby, benefitting the company’s top line via synergies across other channels. Also, Nordstrom has been receiving positive feedback for its NYC flagship store. On its last earnings call, management had predicted that the NYC flagship store will contribute 150 basis points of growth in the fiscal fourth quarter.

However, investments related to occupancy, technology, store openings, supply chain and marketing have been resulting in higher expenses. This along with a rise in interest expenses might have impacted Nordstrom’s gross margin in the fiscal fourth quarter. Notably, management predicts flat merchandise margin for the fourth quarter, driven by continued promotional environment.

What Does the Zacks Model Say?

Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Nordstrom this season. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. But that’s not the case here. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Although Nordstrom carries a Zacks Rank #2, its Earnings ESP of -1.95% makes surprise prediction difficult.

Stocks With Favorable Combination

Here are some companies that you may want to consider, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat:

Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST - Free Report) currently has an Earnings ESP of +0.20% and a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Burlington Stores (BURL - Free Report) presently has an Earnings ESP of +0.02% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Casey’s General Stores (CASY - Free Report) currently has an Earnings ESP of +3.45% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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