By Nathalie Tadena
In a relatively light week ahead for corporate earnings, several retailers and food companies are among those due to report their latest quarterly results.
Monday marks the biggest online shopping day of the year in the U.S. as several e-commerce outlets look to lure holiday shoppers with "Cyber Monday" deals.
Among the spate of economic reports to be released next week are durable- goods orders data and a consumer confidence reading, as well as a second look at the third-quarter economy.
Several Retailers to Report Results
A handful of retailers, including several teen-focused apparel companies, will release their latest quarterly results.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters project Aeropostale Inc. (ARO), a bargain player among teen retailers, to record slightly weaker third-quarter profits. Meanwhile, rival American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (AEO)-- which has been a standout in the teen sector lately -- is expected to post a double-digit earnings gain. High-end peer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF), with its inventory issues largely under control and fresh product in stores, recently reported unexpectedly robust fiscal third-quarter results.
Other notable names in the retail space reporting results next week include women's apparel company Ann Inc. (ANN), bookseller Barnes & Noble (BKS), privately held apparel company J. Crew Group Inc., luxury watchmaker Movado Group Inc. (MOV) and high-end jewelry company Tiffany & Co. (TIF).
Kroger Expected to Report Stronger Profits, Sales
Supermarket giant Kroger Co. (KR) is among several grocery operators and food companies releasing results next week.
Kroger, the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer, has been managing a tough competitive environment by cutting business costs and reinvesting the savings into lowering prices on some items, offering tailored coupons and discounts to consumers and broadly trying to improve the shopping experience to build customer loyalty. Analysts expect the company to report top- and bottom-line growth for the third quarter.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR), Ralcorp Holdings Inc. (RAH), Post Holdings Inc. (POST), Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. (CBRL) and WhiteWave Foods Co. (WWAV) are also due to release quarterly results.
Online Retail Aim to Lure Customers with 'Cyber Monday' Deals
With the key holiday shopping season under way, several e-commerce outlets are looking to lure holiday shoppers by offering "Cyber Monday" online deals. Though consumer confidence has improved, shoppers still remain cautious amid a sluggish economy.
Online revenue for the retail sector could climb 18% to $2 billion on Cyber Monday, according to recent data from Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE). Online shopping has been making up a greater portion of holiday spending in recent years, helped by web-enabled devices. Adobe's Digital Index 2012 Online Shopping Forecast also predicts strong purchasing activity from mobile devices, with mobile representing 21% of total online sales this holiday, more than double that of last year.
Durable Goods, Consumer Confidence Data Among Economic Reports Next Week
Economic reports next week will include: durable goods orders and consumer confidence on Tuesday, a second look at the third-quarter economy on Thursday, and October personal income and spending on Friday. Also the Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book Wednesday in advance of its Dec. 11-12 policy meeting.
Forecasters surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expect a 1.3% drop in durable goods orders for October after an airplane-fueled 9.8% jump in September. Meanwhile, consumer confidence, as gauged by the Conference Board, is expected to increase slightly this month.
The Commerce Department will report its second reading of third-quarter gross domestic product on Thursday. Economists think real GDP growth picked up to an annual rate of 2.8%, better than the 2.0% pace first reported. Foreign trade and inventories are expected to drive the upward revision.
Among the significant conferences next week are the BB&T Capital Markets Consumer, Food & Retail Conference on Monday in New York, the Credit Suisse Technology Conference Tuesday through Thursday in Scottsdale, Ariz.; the FBR Fall Investor Conference on Tuesday in New York; the Goldman Sachs Global Metals & Mining/Steel Conference Tuesday and Wednesday in New York; the Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference Tuesday and Wednesday in New York; and the Jefferies Global Energy Conference Wednesday and Thursday in Houston.
--Kathleen Madigan and Dow Jones Newswires staff contributed to this report article
Write to Nathalie Tadena at firstname.lastname@example.org
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