March 5, 2012
The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which consumer goods editor/analyst Austin Smith and industrials editor/analyst Isaac Pino discuss topics across the investing world.
In today's edition, Austin and Isaac discuss the unseasonably warm winter season and how it's affected retailers. The mild winter has helped Gap (NYSE: GPS ) realize a 4% jump in sales, which contrasts nicely to the 1.4% decline analysts expected. Target (NYSE: TGT ) and Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN ) are other big winners so far this season. The really interesting win is from VF (NYSE: VFC ) , the global apparel corporation behind The North Face brand. They really profited last winter as many parts of the U.S. experienced intense and snowy weather, but they also managed to gain in this year's more mild conditions. The investing takeaway isn't to become a weatherman and learn to read high and low pressure pattern charts though, it's to put these retailers' impressive two months into perspective. After a frothy run for the major indexes recently, investors may feel like they're out of the woods and want to jump into a retail stock before it's too late. Austin cautions them to hold tight, be patient, and wait for a pullback.
These retailers have benefited from an unseasonably warm winter, but if you'd like to invest in retailers that have a bit more concrete formula for success, like a winning business model and lots of free cash flow, you should read our special free report, "The Death of Retail and The New Cash Kings," which highlights two companies hand-picked by Fool analysts that are set to dominate the future. To check out these two companies and learn more about the future of retailing. Click here now -- it's free!