Earnings Beat Has Nordstrom Stock on the Rebound

Despite the earnings beat, at least five analysts slashed their price targets on JWN

Lillian Currens
Aug 22, 2019 at 9:50 AM
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Department store name Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN) is following yesterday's big retail gains with a win of its own. The shares of JWN are up 11.7% at $29.65, after the firm reported second-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts' estimates. Nordstrom said it cut costs and cleared more inventory via online sales. The company also reported a revenue miss, however, which may be why so many analysts are coming at the stock with bear notes this morning. 

At least five analysts have issued price-target cuts since JWN's earnings report, including J.P. Morgan Securities, which slashed its price target all the way to $26. Cowen cut its price target by $2 to $30, and said "we believe much more work remains ahead, especially on editing and shrinking the merchandise assortment." Credit Suisse was the outlier, lifting its price target to $33 from $32.

Prior to today, the consensus 12-month price target stood at $33.63, which now represents just a 13% premium to current levels. Nordstrom is no stranger to analyst pessimism of late; the stock suffered a price-target cut from Wedbush just last week, and currently holds 11 "hold" or worse ratings, compared to only one "strong buy." 

This pessimism among the brokerage bunch isn't surprising, considering the stock hit a nine-year bottom of $25.01 on Aug. 15. The equity has been on a steady decline since a mid-November bear gap and has suffered, more recently, at the hands of its 30-day moving average. Today, however, JWN is vying for just its second close above this trendline since April. 

Short sellers were piling on ahead of earnings, too. In the last two reporting periods, short interest shot up 21.4% and now accounts for 28.32 million shares, or 24.7% of the stock's available float. It would take nearly seven days to buy back all these bearish bets, at JWN's average pace of trading. Should some of these bears begin to jump ship after Nordstrom earnings, a short squeeze could help propel the stock's rebound.


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