NEW YORK (
) - Shares of retailers
hit 52-week highs on Wednesday.
Each of these companies was rated buy at
The Cincinnati, Ohio-based department store operator has asked that the counterclaims from
Martha Stewart Living
be rejected as Macy's seeks to stop Martha Stewart Living from opening boutiques operated by
"Our higher estimates reflect Macy's strong market share growth opportunity (weare modeling 3.5% comps for F2012)," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a Feb. 21 report. "We continue to view Macy's strong free cash flow generation, market share gains and upward estimate revision potential favorably and reiterate our Buy rating."
Shares of Macy's hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $38.34. The stock's 52-week low of $22.50 was set on March 23.
Macy's has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 10.10; the average for broad-line retailers is 26.23. For comparison, J.C. Penney and
both have higher forward P/Es of 13.73 and 11.66, respectively.
Fifteen of the 19 analysts who cover Macy's rated it buy; four analysts gave the stock a hold rating.
gives Macy's an A+ grade and
price target. The stock has risen 18.71% year to date.
The Little Rock, Ark.-based department store operator has announced an additional share repurchase program for up to $250 million of Class A shares.
"Retailers with access to the
Fashion/Accessories/Beauty categories have consistently outperformed their peers that don't, and we see no signs that this trend is changing," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a Feb. 23 report. "Shoes and accessoriesalone make up 30% of DDS business, and we have no doubt that this helped to drive the company's 3% increase in same store sales (SSS) and further expansion of its operating margin (+40 bps). Looking ahead, now that the retail gross margin appears to have stabilized (flat to down 10 bps in each of the last three quarters), further expansion of the operating margin will likely need to result from continued top line improvement."
Shares of Dillard's hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $62.09. The stock's 52-week low of $37.27 was set on March 29.
Dillard's has a forward P/E of 11.67; the average for apparel retailers companies is 17.13. For comparison, both
Abercrombie & Fitch
have lower forward P/Es of 10.87 and 10.37, respectively.
Both analysts that cover Dillard's have hold ratings on the stock.
Dillard's gets a B grade from
price target. The stock has increased 36.45% year to date.
The off-price retailer is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results on March 2. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of $1.73 a share on revenue of $1.66 billion.
"We expect earnings to be in line with our estimate of $1.74, a penny above consensus of $1.73, through management's ability to leverage SG&A," Benchmark analysts wrote in a report Wednesday. "We expect Canada to be a drag on EPS of $0.05 in 4Q11. While Canada may produce a loss this quarter, we believe Big Lots made a sound investment in its future with the Canadian acquisition. Given the solid balance sheet, cash flow, profitability, improving store base, and expanding customer base, which could lead to years of revenue growth, along with possible upside from share repurchases, we maintain our price target of $53."
Shares of Big Lots hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $44.64. The stock's 52-week low of $28.89 was set on Aug. 8.
Big Lots has a forward P/E of 12.84; the average for broad-line retailers is 26.23. For comparison,
has a lower forward P/E of 11.13 and
forward P/E is 19.77.
Ten of the 17 analysts who cover Big Lots rate it a buy; seven analysts give the stock a hold rating.
gives Big Lots a B grade and
price target. The stock has risen 18.56% year to date.
Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York
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