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Back to (Earnings) School for Staples, Target, Plus Three Other Retailers

 NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The five retailers profiled here before their earnings reports have had a difficult time so far in 2014. Three of the companies have stocks that are down by double-digit percentages.

It's tough to be positive about major retailers. For example, Elizabeth Arden (RDEN) , a maker of cosmetics, toiletries and fragrances, is down 43% year to date. The stock is below all five moving averages in today's first "crunching the numbers" table.

Staples (SPLS) is down 28% year to date. The stock is attempting to confirm a tradeable bottom as its weekly chart is positive. That could be a sign that the company is benefiting from back-to-school spending.

Target (TGT - Get Report) is down 8% year to date, although the company appears to be coming out of the funk of the credit-card breaches during the 2013 holiday-shopping season.

TJX Cos. (TJX - Get Report) is down 17% year to date, but its weekly chart will shift to positive given a better-than-expected earnings report or forecast. I describe consumers as a 60/40 situation where 60% feel they can make ends meet, but still shop for bargains at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, while the 40% who are living paycheck-to-paycheck may shop at these stores to purchase a quality item at a discount.

Urban Outfitters (URBN) is down just 2.8% year to date, but the company may benefit from back-to-school spending on casual wear for young women.

Here are today's stock profiles. Two "crunching the numbers" tables follow.

Elizabeth Arden ($20.18) has been volatile so far in 2014, trading as low as $23.45 on Feb. 5, and as high as $37.69 on April 30.

It traded above its 200-day simple moving average between April 24 and May 12, and on May 13, the stock plunged below its 200-day SMA at $33.99, after the company posted a quarterly loss of 84 cents per share when analysts were expecting a slight profit. The year-to-date low is $19.88, which was set on Aug. 7.

Analysts expect the company to report a loss of 29 cents per share before the opening bell on Tuesday. Elizabeth Arden has a 12-month trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 121.1 and does not pay a dividend.

The weekly chart is negative but oversold with its five-week modified moving average at $22.00. Monthly and weekly value levels are $16.65 and $13.44, respectively, with annual risky levels at $26.71 and $33.81.

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