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Information Technology : Technology Hardware, Storage & Peripherals | Mid Cap Value
Based in Japan
Company profile

SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION is a Japan-based company engaged in the printing solutions business, visual communication business, as well as wearable and industrial products business. The Company has three business segments. The Printing Solutions segment is engaged in the provision of printer products such as inkjet printers, page printers and color image scanners, as well as professional printing products such as industrial inkjet printers and label printers. The Visual Communication segment is engaged in the provision of liquid crystal projectors, high temperature polysilicon thin-film-transistor (TFT) liquid crystal panels and smart glasses. The Wearable and Industrial Products segment is engaged in the provision of wearable devices such as watches and sensing devices, robotics solutions products such as industrial robots and integrated circuit (IC) handlers, as well as microdevices such as crystal devices and semiconductors. The Company is also engaged in the group services business.

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13 retailers posted a good earnings season based on two key measures. Are their stocks worth a look?

9:23 am ET June 3, 2023 (MarketWatch)

By Philip van Doorn

These companies all grew sales while expanding gross profit margins in a difficult environment as pandemic stimulus came to an end and interest rates increased

Every earnings season there are retail horror stories but also some companies that stand out in a competitive environment. Below is a list of 13 U.S. retailers that have put up good quarterly numbers.

This can serve as starting point for your own research if you are interested in considering stocks of retailers for investment.

Some industries are more difficult to define than others. We can count the retail industry as one of them, with a variety of product and service types and many companies with distribution models beyond traditional stores. Retailers also have varied fiscal reporting periods, so it might seem as if earnings season never ends. If we look at the largest 50 U.S. retailers by market capitalization, 40 had reported for fiscal quarters ended Feb. 3 or later through May 26, according to data provided by FactSet.

Coverage of retailers' quarterly results typically focuses on comparable-store sales, or same-store sales. Standouts this earnings season have included Walmart Inc(WMT), Costco Wholesale Corp(COST), and BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings Inc(BJ), which all reported solid increases in comparable-store sales from the year-earlier quarter.

Other retailers with significant declines in comparable-store sales included Home Depot Inc(HD), Lowe's Cos. Inc(LOW), CarMax Inc(KMX) and AutoNation Inc(AN). Some of these declines can be attributed to a reversal of sales growth during the year-earlier periods that were boosted by fiscal stimulus and very low interest rates during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Federal Reserve only began raising interest rates in March 2022.

"After a three-year period of unprecedented growth for our sector, during which we grew sales by over $47 billion, we expected that fiscal 2023 would be a year of moderation for the home improvement market," Home Depot CEO Ted Decker said in the company's earnings press release on May 16.

A screen of retailers' stocks

For our screen of the 40 largest U.S. retailers by market cap that had reported for fiscal quarters ending Feb. 3 or later through May 26, we looked at sales and profit margins to narrow the list to 13 companies showing good operating trends.

We didn't compare results to consensus estimates and we didn't screen for comparable-store sales because this data isn't available for all the companies. But we do show changes in comparable-store sales if the data are available from FactSet or available in some form in the companies' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Here are the 13 U.S. retailers that passed the screen with rising quarterly revenue from a year earlier and improved gross profit margins. They are sorted by increases in sales:

Company                              Ticker  Increase in quarterly sales from year-earlier quarter  Gross margin  Gross margin -- year-earlier quarter  Operating margin  Operating margin -- year-earlier quarter 
Grocery Outlet Holding Corp.           GO                                                    16.1%        31.13%                               27.98%             5.54%                                    4.62% 
Burlington Stores Inc.                BURL                                                   10.7%        39.06%                               37.65%             7.15%                                    6.08% 
Tractor Supply Co.                    TSCO                                                    9.1%        32.51%                               32.37%            10.36%                                   10.65% 
Floor & Decor Holdings Inc. Class A   FND                                                     9.1%        37.68%                               36.30%            13.36%                                   13.47% 
Urban Outfitters Inc.                 URBN                                                    5.9%        33.33%                               30.73%            13.12%                                   11.34% 
AutoZone Inc.                         AZO                                                     5.8%        52.47%                               51.91%            23.83%                                   22.97% 
Sprouts Farmers Market Inc.            SFM                                                    5.6%        35.77%                               35.34%            11.27%                                   11.02% 
BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings Inc.      BJ                                                     5.0%        18.63%                               17.58%             5.18%                                    4.67% 
Tapestry Inc.                         TPR                                                     5.0%        72.92%                               69.92%            17.93%                                   15.60% 
Ross Stores Inc.                      ROST                                                    3.7%        26.74%                               26.23%            12.35%                                   12.91% 
TJX Cos. Inc.                         TJX                                                     3.3%        29.02%                               27.16%            11.94%                                   10.94% 
Costco Wholesale Corp.                COST                                                    2.0%        12.07%                               11.87%               N/A                                    4.42% 
Target Corp.                          TGT                                                     0.6%        25.09%                               24.27%             7.88%                                    8.14% 
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Source: FactSet 

Click on the tickers for more about each company.

Click here for Tomi Kilgore's detailed guide to the wealth of information for free on the MarketWatch quote page.

A company's gross margin is its net sales, less the cost of goods or services sold, divided by sales. Net sales are sales minus returns and discounts, such as coupons. The cost of goods or services sold includes the actual costs for making the items or providing the services, including labor. It is a useful measurement of pricing power, and a combination of an expanding gross margin and increasing sales is a good sign.

The table also includes operating margins, which are earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) divided by sales. This information won't be available for Costco for the most recent quarter until the company files its 10-Q report with the SEC.

Now let's look at the trend for year-over-year changes in comparable-store sales for the group:

Company                              Ticker  Comparable store sales change  Comparable store sales change -- previous quarter  Comparable store sales change -- year-earlier quarter 
Grocery Outlet Holding Corp.           GO                            12.1%                                             15.1%                                                  5.2% 
Burlington Stores Inc.                BURL                            4.0%                                             -2.0%                                                -18.0% 
Tractor Supply Co.                    TSCO                            2.1%                                              8.6%                                                  5.2% 
Floor & Decor Holdings Inc. Class A   FND                            -3.3%                                              2.5%                                                 14.3% 
Urban Outfitters Inc.                 URBN                            5.0%                                              3.0%                                                 10.9% 
AutoZone Inc.                         AZO                             1.9%                                              5.3%                                                  2.6% 
Sprouts Farmers Market Inc.           SFM                             3.1%                                              2.9%                                                  1.6% 
BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings Inc.      BJ                             5.7%                                              8.7%                                                  4.1% 
Tapestry Inc.                         TPR                              N/A                                               N/A                                                   N/A 
Ross Stores Inc.                      ROST                            1.0%                                              1.0%                                                 -7.0% 
TJX Cos. Inc.                         TJX                             3.0%                                              4.0%                                                  0.0% 
Costco Wholesale Corp.                COST                            3.5%                                              7.0%                                                 11.0% 
Target Corp.                          TGT                             0.0%                                              0.7%                                                  3.3% 
                                                                                                                                                                   Source: FactSet 

Tapestry Inc. (TPR) owns several luxury brands, including Coach, Kate Spade New York and Stuart Weitzman. Changes in comparable-store sales aren't available for these periods because the company doesn't believe the figures will be meaningful, because of Covid-19-related disruptions during prior periods, according to its filings.

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

June 03, 2023 09:23 ET (13:23 GMT)

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