Retail Earnings Preview: Abercrombie & Fitch, Sears, Gap, Foot Locker

Category: Companies / May 23, 2013 2:05PM EDT

Analysts will be watching for details about the spring selling season and financial pressures from the payroll tax hikes have affected retail earnings after Target and Lowe’s reported disappointing earnings this week.

So far this week, The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE: HD) beat estimates while Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) and Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) missed forecasts, and analysts will continue to see this week how shoppers are adjusting to new financial pressures from tax hikes and government spending cuts.

On Thursday, Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE: RL) fell early in the session after the company’s fourth-quarter earnings this morning pointed to a weak outlook, but still per-share earnings beat consensus estimates, surging on increased gross margin thanks to lower product costs.

The company reported net income of $127.2 million, or $1.37 per share, for the quarter, compared with $94.4 million, or 99 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 1.2 percent to $1.64 billion.

Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: SHLD) is scheduled to release financial results for the company's first quarter after the market closes Thursday with analysts expecting a loss of $3 per share for the fiscal year.  Investors will wait and see how the company, which operates Kmart and Sears, offers some insight into how the spring selling season fared.

Zacks Investment Research projects revenue to fall 9.7 percent year-over-year to $8.37 billion for the quarter, after being $9.27 billion a year ago.

Also on Thursday, Wall Street estimates The Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) will report earnings up almost 47 percent from a year ago, to the current projection of earnings of 69 cents per share.

The current projection from Zacks is earnings of 69 cents per share for the quarter, up 46.8 percent from a year ago, when Gap reported earnings of 47 cents per share. Revenue is forecast to be 5.2 percent above the year-earlier total of $3.49 billion at $3.67 billion for the quarter.

On Friday, Analysts are forecasting disappointing results for Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) as the company still remains under fire for its CEO Mike Jeffries’ controversial comments. When the company releases its first quarter numbers on Friday with the company expected to take a loss of 5 cents a share.

Zacks expects the company to take a loss of 5 cents a share compared to a profit of 3 cents a year ago. Revenue is expected to be $941.7 million for the quarter.

Also on Friday, Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: FL) will report results with the consensus estimate coming in up over four percent from a year ago to 87 cents per share.

Zacks consensus estimate is 87 cents per share, up 4.8 percent from a year ago when the company reported earnings of 83 cents per share. Revenue is projected to come in at $1.63 billion for the quarter.