June Retail Sales: A Mess of Misses

(Update adds same-store sales chart, ICSC data and stock prices.)

It was a mess of a month (or, should we say, a miss of a month) for retailers, with at least a dozen of the retailers reporting June same-store sales on Thursday missing expectations.

Overall June same-store sales tumbled 5.1%, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. The group expected a decline of 4.5%.

Wet weather through most of the month contributed to the soggy results, but on the whole it appears that June reiterated what we already know: consumers are still not spending.
June Same-Store Sales Miss Estimates

But despite dismal results, shares of retailers were mixes, with the S&P Retail Index up .3% to 311.40 in morning trading.

Some of the biggest misses were in the specialty sector, with Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF) posting a whopping 32% decline, sending shares down 3% to $23.30. Analysts expected the teen retailer to be off by 26.6%.

Sales of rival American Eagle Outfitters ( AEO) fell 11% during the month, missing analysts' forecast of a 7.9% decline.

Gap ( GPS) retreated 10%, worse than analysts' expection of an 8.6% decline, while Limited Brands ( LTD) tumbled 12%, off from analysts' expectation of a 7.9% fall.

Even Target ( TGT) flopped 6.2%, missing Wall Street's negative 5.6% prediction. But shares of the discounter were up 4% to $38.75 in morning trading.

Surprisingly enough, while sales were still dismal at the department stores, most managed to beat expectations. (Perhaps the expectations of retailers have just become so low, that even department stores can meet them.)

Macy's ( M) fell 8.9%, slightly beating forecasts of a 9% decline. JC Penney ( JCP) slipped 8.2% compared with expectations of a 9.3% drop, and Kohl's sank 5.6%, surpassing the consensus tank of 6.8%. Nordstrom ( JWN) posted a 10% decline, also surpassing analysts' 11.4% expected drop.

But investors did not take these better-than-expected results as good news. Shares of Kohl's sank 1.5% to $42.70, JC Penney declined 4% to $26.43 and Saks ( SKS) plunged nearly 8% to $4.39 this morning.

Looking forward, the ICSC expects June sales to be down about 5%.

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