NEW YORK (
) -- Excitement is mounting in the market this morning on the perceived surprises in retail same-store sales.
In morning trading, shares of
Abercombie & Fitch
are jumping 6.9% to $34.94 on better-than-expected results, as are shares of
, which is increasing 3.4% to $19.23.
But many of these surprises might not, in fact, be all that surprising.
stunned investors when it reported a 4% spike in its September same-store sales, surpassing the 1.3% decline analysts expected.
However, most of this momentum was garnered by online sales, which surged by 54%. Children's Place includes online sales in its monthly results, while most other retailers, except
, exclude the figure.
Macy's saw a slight 2.4% decline, better than the 4.6% drop Wall Street forecast. But it, too, saw the boost come predominantly from online sales, which soared 14.8% during the month.
The department store said its private-label and exclusive merchandise is strong, as well as moderate apparel, kids, textile, house wares, mattresses and furniture. But handbags and fragrances continue to be weak.
There is, of course, nothing wrong with Children's Place and Macy's seeing sales shift from stores to online, but it's patently unfair to say they're doing better than their competitors, as
Abercombie & Fitch, as well, is standing out for all the wrong reasons: The teen retailer reported an 18% plunge in same-store sales, but these results topped analysts' expectations of a 21% tumble, which is leading investors to believe a recovery is nearing.
Granted, the number
slightly better, but it's up on very easy comparisons. Meanwhile, the company's Hollister chain was one of the weakest links; despite that chain's Friends With Benefits 20%-off sale during the month, the surf-inspired retailer saw a 21% downturn.
Still, there were some legitimate winners in September.
tops the list, as its same-store sales shot up 9.6%, much better than the measly 0.1% uptick analysts had expected.
"All regions and all lines of business reported comparable store sales increases in September," Kevin Mansell, chairman, president and CEO said in a statement. "The Southwest region and the Accessories business were once again the strongest performers with double-digit comparable store sales increases."
As a result, the department store (like several other retailers)
. It now expects earnings in the range of between 52 cents and 54 cents. It previously forecast earnings in the range of 40 cents to 44 cents a share.
American Eagle Outfitters
is also showing some promise, with sales flat for the month, surpassing the 4.1% decline analysts predicted.
The teen retailer also raised its third-quarter guidance in the range of 24 cents to 26 cents a share, from 22 cents to 25 cents a share.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York
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