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US Q2 in brief – Target, TJX, Dick's Sporting Goods



In the most recent second-quarter filings from US apparel and footwear brands and retailers, US department store giant Target booked an "encouraging" second-quarter as efforts to turn around its business appear to be paying off, while TJX Companies saw its net sales for the period increase 6%. Dick's Sporting Goods also reported increases in both sales and earnings in the second quarter, while Nordstrom saw an improvement in sales, beating company expectations.

Target Corp

US department store retailer Target booked what it called "encouraging" second-quarter results as efforts to turn around its business appear to be paying off. Sales increased 1.6% to US$16.4bn from $16.2bn last year, reflecting a 1.3% comparable sales increase combined with the benefit from sales in non-mature stores. Comparable digital channel sales grew 32% and contributed 1.1%. Net earnings meanwhile, slipped 1.2% to $672m from $680m in the year-ago period. Gross margin narrowed slightly to 30.5%, compared with 30.9% last year, reflecting increased digital fulfilment costs and the retailer's efforts to improve pricing and promotions.

TJX Companies

TJX Companies CEO Ernie Herrman said he is "very pleased" with the company's second quarter results, as net sales for the period increased 6% to US$8.4bn from $7.9bn last year. However, net income slipped to $553m from $562.2m in the prior year period, while gross profit margin was 28.5%, down 0.9 percentage points versus the prior year. For the full year, TJX now expects diluted earnings per share in the range of $3.89 to $3.93 – a 12% to 14% increase over last year's EPS of $3.46.

Dick's Sporting Goods

Retailer Dick's Sporting Goods booked increases in both sales and earnings in the second quarter, with CEO Edward Stack hailing a "significant increase" in the company's bottom line from last year. For the 13 weeks to 29 July, net income reached US$112.4m from $91.4bn in the year-ago period. Net sales were also up, increasing 9.6% to $2.2bn from $2bn last year. Meanwhile, ecommerce sales for the second quarter of 2017 increased by about 19%.

Differential Brands

Differential Brands Group, which owns the Robert Graham and Hudson Clothing brands, widened its net loss in the second quarter. For the three months ended 30 June, net loss was US$4.05m, compared to $3.6m for the prior year period. Net sales meanwhile, were up 13% to $36.5m from $32.4m last year, reflecting a 12% increase in wholesale segment sales and a 15% increase in consumer direct segment sales. The rises were driven by growth at Hudson Jeans and Robert Graham, as well as the addition of the Swims brands, and overall e-commerce sales growth of 38%. Gross margin expanded 590 basis points to 44.5% compared to 38.65% last year.

JC Penney

The challenging retail industry weighed on second-quarter results for JC Penney as it revealed a wider net loss of US$62m from $56m a year earlier. The company was, however, encouraged by an improved performance in its apparel business, including a significant acceleration in kids' apparel. Total sales were up 1.5% to $3bn, while comparable sales dropped 1.3%.

Nordstrom

Nordrstrom has booked a marked improvement in sales on the prior quarter, beating previously issued company guidance, as they climbed 3.5% to US$3.7bn from $3.6bn a year earlier. Comparable sales increased 1.7%. Earnings, however, dropped to $110m from $117m, while retail gross profit narrowed 25 basis points to 34.1% as a result of higher occupancy expenses related to new store growth for Nordstrom Rack and Canada in addition to higher loyalty expenses during its anniversary sale. This was partially offset by improved merchandise margins.

Dillard's

Significant markdowns led to a "disappointing loss" for Dillard's in the second quarter. For the 13 weeks ended 29 July, net loss amounted to US$17.1m compared to net income of $12.1m in the year-ago period. Net sales were also down, slipping to $1.43bn from $1.45bn last year.

Macy's

US department store retailer Macy's said its second-quarter results were in line with its expectations, and that it remains on track to meet its 2017 sales and earnings guidance. Earnings in the period reached US$116m from $11m last year, while gross margin narrowed to 40.3% from 40.9% in the prior year period. Sales meanwhile, slipped 5.4% to $5.6bn from $5.9bn in the same period last year, reflecting, in part, store closures. Comparable sales on an owned basis were down 2.8%.

Destination Maternity

Destination Maternity has booked its third straight quarter of improved comparable sales thanks to a positive impact from its web re-platform and merchandising planning and allocation improvements. Comparable sales fell 3.4%, but marked a sequential improvement in each month of the quarter from negative 5.6% in May to negative 3.3% in June and negative 1.1% in July. The company also noted a positive performance from its recently re-launched e-commerce sites, which delivered a comparable sales improvement of 30.2% for the quarter. For the full year, it expects to report improved adjusted EBITDA before other charges for the quarter versus the second quarter of fiscal 2016 as a result of continued improvement in gross margin as well as reduced expenses.

The Children's Place

The Children's Place has booked what it says are "outstanding" operating results in the quarter with comparable retail sales, gross margin and earnings per diluted share above last year and exceeding the high end of its guidance. Net sales increased 0.6% to US$373.6m on the back of a comparable retail sales increase of 3.1%. Net income reached $14.3m compared to a net loss of $2m the previous year.

Weyco

Weyco saw an uptick in both overall sales and net earnings in the second quarter despite what it called a "challenging retail environment". For the three months to 30 June, net earnings attributable to the company grew 26% to US$1.3m from $1m in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, net sales for the quarter were $57.5m, up 1% as compared $56.9 last year. CEO Thomas Florsheim said the sales increase can be attributed, in part, to "successful new product launches" for two of Weyco's major wholesale brands.

Phoenix Footwear Group

Phoenix Footwear Group booked a mixed second-quarter as the company narrowed its net loss but saw net sales decrease. For the three months ended 1 July, net losses amounted to US$519,000, compared to a net loss of $539,000 for the second quarter of fiscal 2016. Gross margins as a percentage of net sales remained flat at 36.8%. Net sales meanwhile, slipped $784,000, or 18.5% to $3.5m, compared to $4.2m in the year-ago period. Phoenix said the majority of the decrease in net sales was associated with internet-based customers, of which $354,000 was associated with the loss of two large customers. The balance of the decline in net sales was associated with the independent and catalogue channels of distribution.

Wolverine Worldwide

Wolverine Worldwide booked what it says was a "strong" second-quarter with revenue and earnings that surpassed expectations, despite a drop in net income. For the 13 weeks ended 1 July, net earnings slipped to US$20.5m, compared to $24.1m in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, reported revenue was up 2.6% to $598.8m. Underlying revenue increased 1.4%, while reported gross margin narrowed to 37.9%, compared to 38.8% in the prior year.

Steve Madden

US footwear and accessories specialist Steve Madden said its "strong momentum" continued into the second quarter, as the company "delivered another quarter of robust sales and earnings growth" despite the challenging retail environment. For the three months ended 30 June, net income increased to US$29m from $24.7m in the year-ago period. Net sales were also up, rising 15% to $374.1m, compared to $325.4m last year. Gross margin for the quarter was 37.3%, compared to 37.2%. CEO Edward Rosenfeld said the business saw an "outstanding" performance in its core Steve Madden women's wholesale footwear division.

Under Armour

A combination of weaker demand in fitness related categories and lower selling prices hit Under Armour in the second quarter as the company narrowed its net loss but launched a restructuring plan that will involve closing facilities and cutting around 2% of its workforce. Net losses amounted to US$12.3m from a loss of $52.6m a year ago, while gross margin declined 190 basis points to 45.8%. Revenues climbed 9% to $1.1bn. The company also cut its full-year outlook and now expects adjusted earnings of $0.37-$0.40 and revenues to grow 9-11%.

"As we stand up our category management structure within a consumer-led approach, we intend to meaningfully increase our go-to-market speed and amplify our digital capabilities," said CEO Kevin Plank. "We've identified a number of areas to enhance our operational capabilities, drive process improvement and gain greater efficiencies. We remain steadfast in driving and building our brand while shifting our operational focus to become more return-on-investment and cost of capital centric - institutionalising discipline to deliver more consistent, long-term shareholder value."

Columbia Sportswear

Columbia Sportswear has revealed record second-quarter net sales of US$398.9m, a 3% increase compared with net sales of $388.8m last year. However, net loss widened to $11.5m during the period, compared to $8.2m in the year-ago quarter. For the year ahead, the company expects net sales growth of around 3%, and net income of between $193m and $200m. CEO Tim Boyle said: "We delivered solid first half financial results featuring growth from three of our four brands and all four geographic regions. First-half sales growth of 3% and earnings growth of 4% are on pace with our full-year expectations."

Carter's

Carter's says it has achieved "good growth" in sales and earnings during the second quarter, driven by retail and international businesses, and the contribution from the Skip Hop brand which was acquired earlier this year. For the period ended 1 July, net sales increased 8.2% to US$692.1m, principally driven by growth in the company's US retail segment. Net income was also up, rising 4.8% to $37.9m. Given the strength of Carter's fall and holiday product offerings, CEO Michael Casey said the business forecasts "good growth" in the second half and expects to achieve its growth objectives this year.

Rocky Brands

Rocky Brands has moved to a profit in its second-quarter thanks to enhancements made to the company's production facility in Puerto Rico, along with a number of organisational changes aimed at reducing its expense structure. Earnings amounted to US$1.5m from a loss of $1.8m a year earlier. Net sales, however, dropped to $58.5m from $62.6m, while retail sales increased 5.8% to $11m from $10.4m last year. Gross margin improved to 31.1% of sales, from 26%, driven by a significant improvement in both wholesale segment and military segment margins.

Levi Strauss & Co

Jeans giant Levi Strauss & Co saw net sales increase in the second quarter, up 6% to US$1.07bn from $1.01bn in the year-ago period. In the three months ended 28 May, net income meanwhile, slipped 43% to $18m from $31m last year. The decline was primarily due to a $23m loss on early extinguishment of debt, related to debt refinancing activities in the quarter, which will result in a substantial reduction in the average cost of debt and interest expense, the San Francisco-based company said. Gross margin widened to 52.3% from 51.1%. In Europe, net revenues were up 17%, while in the Americas and Asia sales grew by 2%. Based on the company's performance in the first half, revenue growth guidance for the full year has been raised to 2%-4% in constant currency.

Skechers

Skechers has topped sales forecasts for the second quarter but saw earnings slip 19.7% to US$59.5m, partly due to a higher effective tax rate but also a result of investment in the firm's international business. Sales, however, exceeded company expectations, reaching a record $1.03bn, increasing 16.9%. This was thanks to a 6.4% increase in the company's domestic wholesale business, an 18.6% increase in its international wholesale business, and a 28% jump in its company-owned global retail business, which included comparable same store sales increases of 7.1%. Gross margin edged up slightly to 47.6% from 47.4% last year.



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