Retail Stock Upgrades, Downgrades (M, KSS, HD, JWN, URBN, RL, GPS)


Stock upgrades and stock downgrades in the retail sector indicate and improving sales environment, according to investment adviser Louis Navellier. The renowned growth stock investor has upgraded 18 major retailers this week including Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M), Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS), The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD), Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN), Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) and Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) in his proprietary database of about 5,000 leading publicly traded stocks. Navellier downgraded only two retail stocks this week, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) and Luxottica Group SpA (NYSE: LUX).

Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) was upgraded from a C grade or “Hold” last week to a B grade or “Buy” this week in Louis Navellier’s Portfolio Grader stock ranking database. Recent sales for M stock show that the combined March/April period increased 6.1%.

Discount department store owner Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS) boosted its first-quarter outlook last week as revenue climbs faster than expected. As a result, KSS stock was upgraded from a C grade or “Hold” this week from a D grade or “Sell” in last week’s Portfolio Grader rankings.

Dow Jones Industrial Average component The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) was upgraded from a C grade or “Hold” last week to a B grade or “Buy” this week. HD stock announced last week that it is creating more than 300 jobs with the opening of a new distribution center in Ohio.

Last week, Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN),  reported a 7.5 percent increase in same-store sales for the four-week period ended May 1, 2010 compared with the four-week period ended May 2, 2009. Those strong sales for JWN stock resulted in an upgrade from Louis Navellier,  from a C grade or “Hold” last week to a B grade or “Buy” this week.

Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) was upgraded from a B grade last week to Portfolio Grader’s highest ranking of an A or “strong buy” this week. That’s because last week URBN stock reported first quarter earnings that included an 11% jump in revenue.

Here’s a complete list of this week’s Portfolio Grader stock upgrades and stock downgrades for the week of May 10, 2010:

Symbol Company Name Market Cap (B) This Week ‘s Grade   Last Week’s Grade
ANN AnnTaylor Stores Corp. $1.3 A – Strong Buy B – Buy
CAB Cabela’s Inc. $1.3 B – Buy D – Sell
CHS Chico’s FAS Inc. $2.5 B – Buy C – Hold
DECK Deckers Outdoor Corp. $1.6 A – Strong Buy B – Buy
DBRN Dress Barn Inc. $2.0 A – Strong Buy B – Buy
GPS Gap Inc. $15.1 C – Hold B – Buy
HD Home Depot Inc. $56.8 B – Buy C – Hold
JCG J. Crew Group Inc. $2.7 A – Strong Buy B – Buy
JOSB Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. $1.1 B – Buy C – Hold
KSS Kohl’s Corp. $16.5 C – Hold D – Sell
LUX Luxottica Group S.p.A. $11.3 D – Sell C – Hold
M Macy’s Inc. $9.2 B – Buy C – Hold
JWN Nordstrom Inc. $8.7 B – Buy C – Hold
PVH Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. $2.8 A – Strong Buy B – Buy
RL Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. $8.2 B – Buy C – Hold
SKS Saks Inc. $1.4 B – Buy C – Hold
SBH Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. $1.6 C – Hold D – Sell
TBL Timberland Co. $1.1 B – Buy C – Hold
URBN Urban Outfitters Inc. $5.9 A – Strong Buy B – Buy
WWW Wolverine World Wide Inc. $1.4 B – Buy C – Hold

According to a retail sales report last week, wet weather in April combined with an earlier Easter and one less shopping day conspired to reduce sales for the month for most retailers. However, some major retailers still projected a profitable quarter as they have been able to stem discounting and work through inventories. Among the April retail sales winners were Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST), Limited Brands Inc. (NYSE: LTD) and The TJX Companies Inc. (NYSE: TJX).

About Portfolio Grader: Every Sunday, renowned growth stock adviser Louis Navellier runs a fundamental analysis on the top 5,000 Wall Street companies. Armed with this research, Navellier offers a rating for each company reflected as a simple letter grade, with A being “strong buy” and F being “strong sell.” Portfolio Grader’s stock data is free and open to the public, and can be accessed online here.

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