Wall Street This Week: Check Out Retailers, New Stats
Monday -- Urban Warfare
The new trading week kicks off Urban Outfitters (URBN). The apparel retailer also runs Anthropologie, Bhldn, Free People and Terrain. Diversification is paying off at a time when comparable retail segment net sales have been slipping at Urban Outfitters locations for the past few quarters. Anthropologie experienced an 8 percent uptick in its latest quarter, and Free People turned heads with its 25 percent surge.
Investors will want to see if Urban Outfitters is any closer to turning things around at the stores that bear its name, but if that doesn't pan out, they're going to want to make sure that its smaller concepts continue to make up for the shortfall.
Tuesday -- Market Metrics Mayhem
It's going to be a busy Tuesday morning for economists as they mull over fresh data. An hour before the market exchanges open we will get monthly updates on Consumer Price Index and housing starts.
The CPI is the market's best measuring stick for inflation. If prices start rising too rapidly, the Federal Reserve won't be able to justify today's low interest rates. Housing starts, as the name implies, counts the number of new residential buildings breaking ground in any given month. It's not just about tracking the health of the homebuilders. Housing starts create jobs and demand for building materials.
Wednesday -- The DL on HP
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) may finally be at the right place at the right time. The world's largest PC maker has been sluggish in recent years as consumers replace laptops and desktops with tablets and smartphones. It also doesn't help that we're not firing up our HP printers the way that we used to in this era of email and digital snapshot sharing.
However, analysts see HP posting just a marginal dip in sales and a slight uptick in earnings per share when it reports quarterly results on Wednesday. With tablet sales starting to slow and PC sales starting to show signs of life, HP's patience in the PC market may be about to pay off.
Thursday -- Let the Games Begin
It's not just the PC industry seemingly coming back from the dead: GameStop (GME) reports on Thursday, and the video game retailer should experience a healthy surge in sales as diehard gamers flock to the Xbox One and PS4 consoles and games that were introduced last November.
Analysts are forecasting an 18 percent spike in sales, with profitability more than doubling. A big component of GameStop's model is the resale of used games and gear that customers exchange for store credit. With the new consoles relying heavily on digital delivery, it will be crucial to see that high-margin segment hold up well for GameStop.
Friday -- At the Mall
A lot of retailers will be reporting quarterly results this week, and that includes Ann Taylor (ANN) and Foot Locker (FL) checking in on Friday morning. Ann Taylor told investors earlier this month that comparable-store sales inched higher at its namesake chain, slipping at its Loft locations. The athletic footwear specialist hasn't pre-announced performance metrics for the quarter. Wall Street sees both companies chiming in with total sales growth in the mid-single digits.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Urban Outfitters and owns shares of GameStop. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.