3 Stocks Driving The Retail Industry Higher

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All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 112.47 points (-0.7%) at 16,912 as of Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,204 issues advancing vs. 1,839 declining with 128 unchanged.

The Retail industry as a whole closed the day down 1.4% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.7%. Top gainers within the Retail industry included Acorn International ( ATV), up 5.5%, China Jo-Jo Drugstores ( CJJD), up 2.4% and Kirkland's ( KIRK), up 2.2%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Kirkland's ( KIRK) is one of the companies that pushed the Retail industry higher today. Kirkland's was up $0.40 (2.2%) to $18.19 on light volume. Throughout the day, 107,328 shares of Kirkland's exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 148,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $17.56-$18.29 after having opened the day at $17.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.79.

Kirkland's, Inc. operates as a specialty retailer of home decor and gifts in the United States. Kirkland's has a market cap of $315.7 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 24.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Kirkland's a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Kirkland's as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on KIRK go as follows:

  • KIRK's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • KIRK has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. To add to this, KIRK has a quick ratio of 1.91, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • KIRKLAND'S INC has improved earnings per share by 20.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, KIRKLAND'S INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.82 versus $0.79 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.99 versus $0.82).
  • 39.35% is the gross profit margin for KIRKLAND'S INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 1.89% trails the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Kirkland's Ratings Report

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