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3 Retail Stocks With Big Gains in the Books Before Earnings

They have the momentum, but will it continue?

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Retail ShoppingIt’s almost that time of the year again: The couple weeks where retailers arrive in droves to report their numbers for the most recent quarter.

Sure, a few high-end names — including Coach (COH) and Michael Kors (KORS) — already reported. But starting next week, the real retail earnings parade will begin.

However, a good chunk of the sector has seen analyst expectations pared back over the last three weeks — and by much more than the handful of names whose projections have slightly improved. Companies from all across the shopping spectrum — including Walmart (WMT), Tiffany & Co. (TIF) and American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) — are all facing lowered bars.

Still, not all stocks in the sector are struggling. In fact, a few retail stocks boast not only steady or improved analyst profit estimates, but also have big gains already in the books leading up to their earnings reports — even in the face of recent weakness.

Let’s take a look at three of them, and see what it could mean for each stock:

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