Ross Stores Up, Family Dollar Down on Mixed Day for Retailers
AP Good for some, not for others Lukewarm is a good way to describe sentiment after some retailers weighed in with their December sales today. While Dr. Seuss’ Grinch character didn’t exactly steal Christmas from retailers this season, he didn’t exactly return it to them either. Retailers reported 4.5% same-store sales growth in December, up from 4.2% a year ago and higher than the expected 3.3%. Ross Stores ( ROST ) was a clear winner today. The discounter rose nearly 8% after it reported 6% comp gains compared to a year ago and beat its expected rise of 3.6%. Sparkle and shine giant Tiffany & Co. ( TIF ) was also a winner, rising nearly 4% after announcing it had renewed a license contract with Elsa Peretti. The agreement will grant Tiffany exclusive rights to the Italian jewelry designer for 20 years. Tiffany reportedly spent a one time fee of $47.2 million for the renewal and will make annual payments throughout the life of its contract. Oppenheimer analyst Brian Nagel writes, For the past several months a cloud of market uncertainty has hung over Tiffany as investors have fretted over the potential for a sizable payout from Tiffany or product line disruptions at the chain. A new Peretti agreement is not a game changing event for Tiffany. We believe, however, that with a new deal in place investors will begin to focus more intently on prospects for improving fundamental trends at Tiffany.