Black Tuesday for Retail Stocks

Tuesday morning is going to be an interesting one for retail buffs who like to see their chains backpedaling. 

Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) , J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP  ) , and Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS  ) will all be reporting, and they are all expected to post unimpressive bottom-line results on declining sales.

The stock prices don't reflect their decaying states. J.C. Penney has been a disaster, but Barnes & Noble has stayed buoyant on the potential of being taken private. Best Buy, on the other hand, has been one of this year's hottest stocks, nearly tripling in value as the market embraces the turnaround vision of its new CEO.

All three stocks are moving in different ways, but all three seem to be struggling to be ringing up as many sales as they did a year earlier. 

 Company

EPS Estimate

Last Year

Sales Growth

Best Buy $0.26 $0.11 (13%)
Barnes & Noble ($0.74) ($0.78) (10%)
J.C. Penney ($1.06) ($0.37) (8%)

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

That's pretty scary stuff. 

Best Buy's aiming at a 13% plunge in revenue. We have to be fair. The consumer electronics retailer has unloaded a number of stores over the past year. However, the pros still see it earning less than half as much as it did a year earlier. Are you sure that this is a stock that should have more than tripled this year? This turnaround is going to take some time.

Barnes & Noble continues to suffer from readers switching to digital delivery, and they're not doing it on the bookseller's own Nook ecosystem to offset the difference. The one thing that can be said for Barnes & Noble is that it is the only one of the three expected to post bottom-line improvement. However, you won't find too many people applauding a deficit of $0.74 a share, even for a seasonal retailer.

J.C. Penney is the one stock that's been slammed this year, and rightfully so. Ron Johnson's risky bet to revive the tired department store chain blew up in his face. He's gone, but so are a lot of the chain's shoppers. If only there was as much turnover at its stores as there is in its boardroom. J.C. Penney's loss is expected to triple this time around.

Yes, this is going to be a lot of news to digest in a single morning. The only retail company that isn't going to disappoint investors on Tuesday morning is Tuesday Morning (NASDAQ: TUES  ) , but only because it reports on Tuesday afternoon.

No, I'm not making that up. The closeouts retailer checks in with its latest financials after the market close. It won't be anything special. Analysts see breakeven results on flat revenue growth. That's as bland as it gets, though one can argue that it's better than what Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, and J.C. Penney are up to these days. However, don't expect Tuesday Morning to escape scrutiny. In a surprising move last month, the company shut down its online store. It's all brick-and-mortar for Tuesday Morning now. Expect it to be pressed on the decision.

Black Tuesday wasn't a thing before, but it might be one now. 

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