American retailers weighted by Bernanke´s warning

Thursday, 29 March 2012

In a session imprinted with a strong American accent, U.S. stocks massively fell; sending the Standard & Poor's 500 Index down a second day. Against the current, Foot Locker, with online sales rocketing by 21.9%.

"It's far too early to declare victory," Bernanke said, according to a transcript of an interview with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer provided by the network. "The recent news has been good. But I think we need to be cautious and make sure this is sustainable. And we haven't quite yet got to the point where we can be completely confident that we're on a track to full recovery," published the ´San Francisco Chronicle´.

PVH Corp. (PVH) fell 67 cents to $89.14 after the apparel company reported fourth quarter revenue increased 10% to $1.5 billion from $1.4 billion in the same quarter last year. Net income in the quarter surged 56% to $81.2 million or $1.11 per diluted share compared to $52.2 million or 72 cents per share in the year ago earlier.

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. (JOSB) slipped 8.3% or $4.53 to $49.95 after the men’s apparel retailer reported fourth quarter net sales grew 8.8% to $346.3 million from $318.3 million in the same quarter last year. Net income in the quarter fell 7.8% to $44.1 million or $1.58 per diluted share compared to $40.9 million or $1.47 per share in the year ago period. The company reported a fiscal 2011 profit of $97.5 million, or $3.49 a share, compared with $85.8 million, or $3.08 a share, last year.Shares slid more than 8% in early-afternoon trading to 50.

Also women's apparel retailer Christopher & Banks Corp slumped 14.4 percent to $2.02 as the biggest percentage drop on the SmallCap index reported its fourth-quarter earnings, which its new chief executive called "clearly disappointing," reported Reuters.

In contrast, Foot Locker threw some light, announcing that its web sales were $457 million, a 21.9% increase from $375 million in 2010. Total sales were $5.6 billion, a 12% increase from $5 billion, while comparable-store sales increased 9.8%. Net income was $278 million, a 64.5% increase from $169 million in the prior year.

In Europe, Next became one of the movers of London listed FTSE, scratching 0.62%.  Also British retailer Mothercare is expected to announce that the speed up of its store closure plans. Mothercare set out plans to reduce its UK store portfolio from 352 to 266 by March next year and has put over 150 staff at its head office into consultation as part of the strategic review.

In other news, Goldman Sachs has begun covering fashion firm Mulberry Group with a 'buy' rating and a 3530 price target.

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