Few industries were as devastated by the pandemic as major retailers, particularly those who rely on in-store experiences. The "big box" retailers were among those hit hard: think Macy's, JC Penney's, Nordstrom, and Kohl's.
But as the pandemic risk slowly but surely fades, many of these battered down retailers may present opportunities for investors to buy on the upswing. And compared to Nordstrom and Kohl's (see analysis below), Macy's is looking undervalued.
Macy's posted a better-than-expected holiday shopping season. Net sales declined -18.7%, but that was better than the -22.6% decline analysts expected. Anytime a company's actual earnings are better than expected, it is usually good news for the stock price.
Net income was also a positive surprise. Macy's earned $160 million in Q4, which widely surpassed the $14.3 million expected by the street. Macy's took big steps to cut costs and said in a statement that it will continue to keep costs at a minimum going forward. Another hint of good news: Macy's reported that the holiday shopping season brought in 7 million new customers, and many of them were younger than the existing customer base. That's good news for the future, particularly if Macy's can continue reinventing its business model to cater to online shoppers.
At the end of the day, Macy's still incurred a full-year loss of $3.9 billion, and retailers in that category face an challenging future. But compared to Kohl's and Nordstrom, Macy's is trading at roughly half the multiple -- meaning investors may have a short-term opportunity to capture a bit of upside on the economic rebound. Below, Tickeron's A.I.dvisor takes a closer look at Macy's, Kohl's, and Nordstrom, with investment insights and detailed fundamental analysis.