"Strikes and gutters, man." That's how the little Lebowski -- The Dude -- described life, and that's how this week's retail roundup seems to be going. Companies like Wal-Mart
After the bell on Thursday, it was Milwaukee's own Kohl's
Gross margins improved slightly, but SG&A as a percentage of sales increased a bit more than that. Inventory was comparatively slimmer that in the prior-year quarter (10 pins), but accounts receivable grew a bit more quickly than sales (five pins, open frame).
The end result was that a little thing called earnings came through at $0.33 per share, a penny above last year's results.
If you're in the excuse-making mood, you could blame April, the cruelest month. Not too long ago, everything was just hunky-dory and wallets were opening like tulips on the South Lawn. But last month, shoppers seemed to have started pinching off the old cash hose, waiting to see what's next for the economy.
Forward guidance matches up with analysts' estimates of around $2.12 per share. That puts the $42 shares at a forward P/E of around 20. That looks a bit pricey for one of the industry's current underachievers. If shoppers are in wait-and-see mode, retail investors might do well to take the same attitude.
Dish dish dish in the Fool's Retail discussion board.