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Apparel Stocks Queued for Earnings: LB, FL, BKE , GPS PLCE

The Q2 earnings season is gradually nearing its end with nearly 92% of the S&P 500 companies already having announced their results. Although the bulk of earnings releases have already come from different sectors, more than 40% of the retailers are yet to post their financial results.

Per the latest Zacks Earnings Trend report as of Aug 12, out of the 459 S&P 500 members that have come up with their quarterly numbers, approximately 71.5% have posted positive earnings surprises whereas 52.9% have surpassed the revenues estimates.

According to the report, the overall earnings of these 459 S&P 500 companies are down 3.6% from the prior-year period, while revenues have fallen 0.6% year-over-year. We observe that this will be the fifth straight quarter of an earnings decline.

Per the latest report (as of Aug 12, 2016), nearly 56.8% of the Retail Wholesales companies have already reported their second-quarter results, out of which 52% beat earnings and only 24% surpassed revenue estimates. Total earnings for these companies were up 6.5% while revenues gained 7.8% year over year. Apparel stock forms part of the Retail Wholesale.

Among Apparel stocks lined up to report this week, let’s take a sneak peek at five companies.

L Brands, Inc. LB – a specialty retailer of women’s intimate and other apparel, beauty and personal care products – is slated to report second-quarter fiscal 2016 results on Aug 17. In the trailing four quarters, it outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of 4%.

We believe that L Brands’ sustained focus on cost containment, inventory management, merchandise, and speed-to-market initiatives has kept it afloat in a sluggish consumer environment. Moreover, it commands a market-leading position in the lingerie, personal care and beauty segments. We believe that the company’s innovations in merchandise and exclusive assortments remain popular among consumers, thereby setting it apart from peers. L Brands now envisions second-quarter fiscal 2016 adjusted earnings at the high end of its previously-issued guidance range of 50−60 cents a share.

However, given the competitive retail landscape, the aggressive promotional strategies undertaken to gain market share may weigh upon the company’s margins in the quarter to be reported. Moreover, foreign currency headwinds may play spoilsport.

L Brands’ carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and has an Earnings ESP of +1.70%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at 59 cents. (Read more: L Brands Q2 Earnings Preview: Will the Stock Gain?).

L BRANDS INC Price and EPS Surprise

L BRANDS INC Price and EPS Surprise | L BRANDS INC Quote

Foot Locker, Inc. FL is slated to release second-quarter fiscal 2016 results on Aug 19.

We believe that Foot Locker is likely to gain by consistently exploiting opportunities like kids’ and women’s business, shop-in-shop expansion in collaboration with its vendors, store banner.com business, store refurbishment and enhancement of assortments. The company is also well positioned to reap the benefits from the so-called “athleisure” trend that has been sweeping the retail sector as consumers are now opting for more comfortable and athletic style products.

However, fashion obsolescence remains the main concern for Foot Locker’s business model, which involves a sustained focus on product and design innovation. The company’s pioneering position may be hampered by delays in its product launches. Moreover, Foot Locker generates a significant amount of net sales outside the U.S. The company remains prone to currency fluctuations due to high exposure to international markets.

Foot Locker carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at 91 cents. In the trailing four quarters, the company outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of 7.8%. (Read more: Foot Locker Q2 Earnings in Focus: What's in Store?).

FOOT LOCKER INC Price and EPS Surprise

FOOT LOCKER INC Price and EPS Surprise | FOOT LOCKER INC Quote

The Buckle, Inc. BKE is slated to release second-quarter fiscal 2016 results on Aug 19. Buckle has not been able to turn around the performance of its struggling Women’s business. Women's merchandise sales were down about 12.5% during the first quarter. Moreover, a competitive retail landscape and cautious consumer spending have been weighing upon the company’s performance. We observe that Buckle’s net sales decreased 9.8% in July, 10.1% in June and 10.4% in May. On the other hand, comparable sales also declined 10.9% in July, 10.6% in June and 11% in May. Further, analysts covering the stock are cautious about the upcoming results. This is clearly evident from the downward revision in the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the second quarter over the past 30 days. The Zacks Consensus Estimate declined approximately 5.7% over the said time frame.

Buckle carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) and has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at 33 cents. (Read more: Buckle Q2 Earnings: What's in the Cards for the Stock?).

BUCKLE INC Price and EPS Surprise

BUCKLE INC Price and EPS Surprise | BUCKLE INC Quote

The Gap Inc. GPS is expected to report second-quarter fiscal 2016 results on Aug 18, after the market closes. In the preceding quarter, the company had posted earnings in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. In fact, the company has reported in-line earnings for five straight quarters now.

Gap has been struggling with waning top-line results, owing to the ever-changing fashion trends, slow traffic and currency headwinds. In fact, the company’s dismal top-line trend continued to linger as evident from the recently-released comparable store sales (comps) and sales data for July and the second quarter. While sales for the quarter fell year over year, the figure was ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Gap carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and has an Earnings ESP of +0.0%. In the past 7 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter has witnessed upward revisions and now the estimate is pegged at 59 cents.  (Read more: Will Gap's Q2 Sales Beat Help it Top Earnings Too?).

GAP INC Price and EPS Surprise

GAP INC Price and EPS Surprise | GAP INC Quote

The Children's Place, Inc. PLCE which operates as a children's specialty apparel retailer is expected to report second-quarter earnings on Aug 17. Our proven model shows that The Children's Place is likely to beat estimates this quarter. A stock needs to have both a positive ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. The Most Accurate estimate stands at a loss of 21 cents and the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at a loss of 24 cents. So, the ensuing +12.50% ESP and the company’s Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) make us reasonably confident of a beat.

CHILDRENS PLACE Price and EPS Surprise

CHILDRENS PLACE Price and EPS Surprise | CHILDRENS PLACE Quote

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