Hottest Retail Stock: Wal-Mart Tops Poll

Wal-Mart tops TheStreet's weekly poll as the strongest stock for the back-to-school season.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Wal-Mart Stores

(WMT) - Get Report

has been deemed the hottest stock for the back-to-school, according to TheStreet's

weekly poll

.

About 33% of respondents said the discounter is poised to capture market share across the board, when it comes to shopping for value-priced apparel and supplies for the first day of school.

This doesn't come as much of a surprise. Shares of the company ended the week up nearly 2% to $51.68.

On Thursday, retailers reported a better-than-expected 2% decline in

August same-store sales

, according to the International Council of Shopping Center.

Best Back To School Stocks

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Wal-Mart no longer reports monthly same-store sales results.

Target

(TGT) - Get Report

came in second as the hottest stock for back-to-school. The discounter has been struggling in its apparel and home segments, but is seeing strength in food products.

In August, Target posted a 2.9% drop in same-store sales, which was actually much better than the 5.1% decline analysts expected.

Walgreen

(WAG)

, placing third in our poll, is expected to pick up shoppers who are opting to purchase school supplies like notebooks and pens at drugstores, rather than at traditional office-supply retailers.

The drugstore reported a 1.9% increase in its monthly same-store sales, but fell short of the 3.1% growth analysts expected.

J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

was a disappointment in August. Analysts and investors believed the department store was poised to gain back-to-school market share with its exclusive and private-label merchandise. However, same-store sales declined 7.9%, worse than the 6.7% drop expected.

Abercrombie & Fitch

(ANF) - Get Report

can't seem to get out of its rut. Only 8.3% of respondents voted the teen retailer as the hottest stock for back-to-school.

On Friday,

Abercrombie was downgraded

by a Citi analyst to sell, citing a continued disintegration of its comparable sales.

The retailer reported a whopping 29% plunge in its August same-store sales, drastically missing the 23.9% tumble Wall Street forecast.

Shares of the company ended the week down 6.5% to $30.17.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York

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