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Time to Ditch Macy's (M) Stock Ahead of Q2 Earnings?

Shares of Macy's M have skyrocketed over 65% in the last six months as the department store continues to ride a wave of momentum after its stock price hit a nearly seven-year low last November. The question is what should investors do with Macy’s stock ahead of its second-quarter earnings release?


Macy’s reported first-quarter revenues of $5.54 billion, which marked a 3.6% jump from the year-ago period. The company also saw solid year-over-year comparable store sales growth. On an owned-store basis, the department store giant’s comps popped 3.9%, while its owned plus licensed same-store sales jumped 4.2%.

The Cincinnati-based company’s adjusted quarterly earnings soared from $0.26 per share in the year-ago period to $0.48 per share. “The winning formula for Macy’s, Inc. is a healthy brick & mortar business, robust e-commerce and a great mobile experience,” Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette said on its first-quarter earnings call.

“While we have more work to do, the continuing improvement in our stores is encouraging and we once again achieved double-digit growth in the digital business. Our best customer is responding well to the improvements we’ve made to her experience in our stores, on .com and through the Macy’s app.”

But investors need to know if Macy’s recent success is just a flash in the pan, or if the company can continue to improve both its top and bottom lines.

Price Movement

Macy’s has seen its stock price soar roughly 95% over the last year, which nearly doubles its industry’s average gains and blows away the S&P 500’s approximately 18% climb. M’s year-long run is insanely impressive and puts it neck and neck with Amazon AMZN over this stretch. Investors should also note that Macy’s stock currently rests right near its 52-week high.

However, if we look back further, it seems that shares of Macy’s could have easily been bought on the dip and might slip sometime soon. Macy’s stock is down over 16% over the last five years, and roughly 40% during the last 36 months.



Now let’s take a look at the firm’s valuation picture. M stock is currently trading at 11.2X forward 12-month Zacks Consensus EPS estimates, which represents a significant discount compared to the S&P’s 17.4X and its industry’s 27.8X. Macy’s has traded as low as 6.5X over the last year, and currently rests at its year-long high and well above its one-year median of 8.7X.

Yet, Macy’s stock has traded as high as 15.2X over the last five years, with a five-year median of 10.8X. Therefore, Macy’s stock does appear rather stretched at the moment compared to where it has traded at over the last year, but is in-line with its five-year median.



Moving on, Macy’s is expected to see its quarterly earnings come in flat from the year-ago period at $0.48 per share, based on our current Zacks Consensus Estimate. Meanwhile, its full fiscal year earnings are projected to pop by 2.65% to $3.87 per share. Looking even further ahead, the company’s fiscal 2019 earnings are projected to plummet 11.8%.

At the top of the income statement, M’s revenues are projected to hit $5.59 billion in the second quarter, which would mark a 0.7% climb. The firm’s current fiscal year revenues are expected to pop by just 1.57% to hit $25.23 billion.

Bottom Line

Macy’s has earned one upward earnings estimate revision over the last 30 days for Q2, without seeing any downward changes. The company has also earned two full-year earnings revisions during this same time period, with 100% agreement to the upside.

Macy’s has also topped our quarterly earnings estimates in six out of the last eight quarters. But investors need to remember that M stock has gone on a stellar run, and its growth looks poised to slow down. Therefore, Macy’s might be a stock to be cautious about heading into earnings.  

Macy’s is scheduled to report its second-quarter financial results before the market opens on Wednesday, August 15. Fellow department stores J. C. Penney JCP and Nordstrom JWN report their quarterly financial results on Thursday, along with Walmart WMT.

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