CITI: Ignore Walmart Headlines And Buy On Weakness

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Photo: Flickr / Walmart Stores

Walmart is getting crushed today by bad press related to an alleged Mexican bribery scandal.However, Citi analyst Deborah Weinswig isn’t too worried just yet.

“While it remains too early to know the validity or repercussions of the bribery allegations published in The New York Times on April 21, we believe Wal-Mart is dedicated to a thorough and transparent review after discussions with the company,” she said according to the AP. “We would use any weakness in the stock as an enhanced buying opportunity.

Weinswig has a buy rating on Walmart, and she boosted her price target to $71 from $69.

Her call accompanied upgrades across the department store and discounter sector.  Weinswig is more upbeat on retailers this earnings season, as strong sales appear to have driven higher margins at the nation’s largest department and big-box stores.

“Strong sales early in the Spring season helped retailers sell through their Spring assortments at full price, and markdowns and clearance levels were lower YOY during the quarter,” Weinswig says. “Retailers also experienced strong sales in high-margin categories like centre core (cosmetics, jewelry, handbags, and accessories).”

Below, a round up of the new earnings projections.

  • Nordstrom (JWN): EPS to $0.78, vs. $0.76 prev.
  • Kohl’s (KSS): EPS to $0.63, vs. $0.60 prev.
  • Macy’s (M): EPS to $0.43, vs. $0.40 prev.
  • Target (TGT): EPS to $1.05, vs. $1.03 prev.
  • Walmart (WMT): EPS to $1.07, vs. $1.06 prev.

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