Retailers have been rolling out their latest quarterly earnings in recent days, with Target (TGT - Get Report) , Walmart (WMT - Get Report) and some other players ringing up great results, but Kohl's (KSS - Get Report) and some other laggards relegated to the discount bin. Here's a report card from our columnists on how some major retailers' earnings look.

Home Depot, Grade: B

Home Depot (HD - Get Report) overcame a steep weather-related headwind and surprised analyst expectations in the first quarter. The high-quality stock's $26.4 billion in sales beat the $26.39 billion that had analysts expected, while adjusted earnings per share of $2.27 topped estimates by eight pennies.

Still, a closer inspection of the results shows that they weren't nearly as sharp as some of the tools that you can buy at this home-improvement chain. For instance, same-store-sales grew just 2.5% year over year compared to analysts' 4.2% consensus estimate.

But despite that, investors should feel encouraged by management expressing confidence in the core business, and reiterating +5% guidance on full-year comps (excluding continued lumber-price deflation).

Home Depot also reaffirmed its $10.03 full-year adjusted earnings-per-share guide, although that didn't incorporate costs related to an increase U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods to 25%. Still, the tariffs look manageable, with a quantified incremental impact of slightly more than $1 billion.

-- Jeff Marks, senior portfolio manager, Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable portfolio and club for investors. At the time of publication Action Alerts PLUS was long HD.

Kohl's, Grade D+

Kohl's (KSS - Get Report) disappointed investors when it reported its first-quarter earnings, missing adjusted EPS expectations by six pennies. Same-store sales also declined 3.4% vs. the -0.1% that analysts had estimated.

But the worst of it might have been Kohl's cutting its full-year EPS forecast to reflect the impact of tariffs, competitive adjustments and the year's sluggish start. Management slashed its full-year EPS target range to $5.15 to $5.45, down about $0.68 at the midpoint from the $5.80 to $6.15 the company guided to when the year began.

Kohl's remained upbeat about a return to growth in the second half thanks to several key initiatives and partnerships, like one with Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) , Still, the market rightfully punished the stock to the tune of a 12.3% one-day drop in reaction to the downbeat results.

-- Jeff Marks, senior portfolio manager, Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable portfolio and club for investors. At the time of publication Action Alerts PLUS was long KSS and AMZN.

Macy's, Grade: C+

I give Macy's (M - Get Report) a C+ on its latest earnings because the company is simply not moving in either a bull or bear direction. It's not creating the sales momentum needed to turn the stock bullish, but it's achieving just enough to keep Macy's shares from falling thanks in part to an already-low stock valuation.

On the plus side, Macy's earnings report was good enough to beat analyst estimates and keep the stock stable in the low $20s. In fact, the latest quarter seemed OK in comparison to many analysts' estimates.

But the year-over-year picture just doesn't inspire much confidence in me. For example, sales declined year over year to $5.5 billion, while fully diluted EPS stagnated at $0.44 during the latest quarter vs. $0.45 a year earlier.

But Macy's year-over-year comparable-store sales are what really told the (downbeat) story for me. Same-store sales rose just 0.6% year over year, and management guided full-year 2019 comparable-sales growth to only 0% to 1%. Additionally, Macy's said it expected 2019 net sales to come in flat year over year.

None of that is exactly an inspiring forecasting. In fact, just about the only saving grace is Macy's strong dividend yield, which is currently at 7.2%.

-- David Butler, columnist, TheStreet's Real Money premium site for active traders

Target, Grade: A

CEO Brian Cornell of Target (TGT - Get Report) said recently during the chain's first-quarter earnings call that "if we turn to the overall retail environment, we're seeing a very consistent and healthy environment across the United States. [But] I think what we're seeing right now is the bifurcation of winners and losers."

In that context, I'd put Target firmly in the winners' camp, thanks to:

  • An easy cruise past analysts' earnings estimates in the chain's latest quarter;
  • Eight consecutive quarters of growing same-store comps;
  • A firm plan to navigate a shifting macro environment on trade;
  • An acceleration of e-commerce capabilities, driving 42% digital-sales growth during the first quarter.

I'll take figures like that on a retailer stock any day. Top marks, Target.

-- Kevin Curran, staff reporter, TheStreet's Real Money premium site for active traders

Walmart, Grade: B

Walmart (WMT - Get Report) did what it needed to do with first-quarter earnings.

Total revenues increased 1%, while its 3.4% U.S. comparable-store sales growth demonstrated the company's ability to keep driving growth domestically. The retailer also grew earnings per share to $1.33, an 84.7% year-over-year gain.

Of course, the big name on everyone's mind is Amazon, and many question whether WMT can continue to dominate retail in a world that's more and more focused on e-commerce.

But for me, the 37% U.S. online-sales growth that the company rang up for the first quarter answered that question with a big "yes." Walmart is doing exceptionally well at driving digital sales even as it retains a brick-and-mortar infrastructure that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos can only dream of.

No one will likely ever completely replace physical stores, so Walmart's "order/pickup" initiative -- in which consumers order groceries online and pick them up at stores -- is a genius move in my eyes. It creates an incentive for customers to travel to their local Walmart to pick up groceries, making it ever more likely that they'll buy some other products as long as they're there.

In fact, I'd like to give Walmart an A, but its international operating income came in weak during the quarter, thanks in large part to the addition of Flipkart. Coupled with growing long-term debt associated with all of the company's digital growth and other new initiatives and the best I can give Walmart is a strong B.

-- David Butler, columnist, TheStreet's Real Money premium site for active traders

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.