New York—Retail earnings week, feel the chill or the thrill of it.
While there are many more retailers to release their earnings, many of the majors so far disappointed.
Macy’s Inc., usually a perennial bellwether, got a cool reception from Wall Street by cuttings its full-year growth forecast from 2.5% to 3% to a lower range of 1.5% to 2%. The department store said that the lowered rate was due to the fact it lost sales in the first quarter due to severe winter storms.
Real or Fluke?
Another retailer sending chills through the retail industry was the biggest of them all, Walmart. The mega retailer cited increased investment in its online business and higher employee health-care costs as reasons for cutting full-year earnings forecasts from continuing operations to $4.90 to $5.15 a share from $5.10 to $5.45.
Given the fact two of the largest retailers have downgraded their forecasts means other retailers will be scrutinized for any downturn especially as we head into toward the fourth quarter.
Is the increased momentum reported by the Commerce Department in April just a fluke or a real indication that the retail industry is well on the way to recovery following the Great Recession? That’s the question that will be on the minds of store executives, analysts and economists as earning season barrels ahead.
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