Portuguese rescue´s ghost drags stocksFriday, 25 March 2011
FashionUnited Top 100 Index broke its uprising trajectory and
closed at 1,131.73 down by 8.45 points. The international fashion benchmark index cannot escape to European despair after Portugal´s rescue in a session were British retailers kept the worst places for second consecutive day.
Next rose on Thursday the most in six months after reporting annual pretax profit that was more than analysts had anticipated and saying sales may advance this year. The British high street retailer gained as much as 7 percent, the most since Sept. 15, and traded up 127 pence, or 6.5 percent, at 2,092 pence as of 9:33 a.m. in London. The company has a market value of 3.77 billion pounds ($6.1 billion), reported Bloomberg.
Next´s pretax profit rose 9 percent to 551 million pounds, the Leicester, England-based company said. Analysts had expected profit of 549 million pounds. Next targets earnings on that basis of between 520 million pounds and 570 million pounds this year. Finally, the high street favorite became one of yesterday´s London Stock Market movers, rising 4.9%.
In Wall Street, retail stocks rose on Thursday after No. 1 U.S. electronics chain Best Buy Co.’s adjusted fourth-quarter profit topped analysts’ expectations. Good sample of this good prospect was the S&P Retail Index, which rose almost 1% to 507.99.
In the spotlight, Talbots, after swinging to a fourth-quarter loss of $2.8 million, or 4 cents a share, from a profit of $4.1 million, or 7 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales in the quarter ended Jan. 29 fell to $292.6 million from $315.9 million with comparable-store sales declining 7.3%. Adjusted loss was 14 cents a share, the company said. Analysts surveyed by FactSet estimated a loss of 18 cents a share on sales of $295.5 million. Talbots said while first quarter-to-date sales trends and customer traffic have improved from the fourth quarter, sales are currently down approximately 4% even after it increased promotions. It said the timing shift in Easter from March to April this year has a significant impact on first quarter sales to date as key promotional events have shifted accordingly.