SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

March 18, 2013 08:20 ET

Retail Industry Showing Strength in 2013 as Commerce Department Reports 1.1% Increase in February Sales

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Foot Locker and Zumiez

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 18, 2013) - Retail stocks received a boost last Wednesday after a recent report showed U.S. retail sales in February posted its biggest gain in 5 months. The sharp rise comes as a welcome sign as it shows the consumer is gaining confidence in the U.S. economy despite higher taxes in 2013. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Retail Industry and provides equity research on Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: FL) and Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ: ZUMZ).

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The Commerce Department reported retail sales in February increased 1.1% to a seasonally adjusted $421.40 billion, which was the fourth consecutive month of gains. When compared to a year ago sales increased 4.6 percent. Additionally, the Commerce Department reported U.S. business inventories in January grew by 1 percent, the most since May 2011. The increase in inventories suggests companies expect demand to pick up in the months to come.

"This all suggests that the hit to spending from the payroll tax cut and higher gasoline prices, which reduce the amount of cash available to spend on other items, hasn't been too bad," said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics. "The recent pickup in both employment and earnings growth bodes well for consumption growth later in the year, too."

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Foot Locker is a specialty athletic retailer that as of February 2, 2013 operated 3,335 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The company reported a net income of $104 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to a net income of $81 million in the year ago quarter.

Zumiez is a leading multi-channel specialty retailer of action sports related apparel. As of March 2, 2013 the company operated 501 stores, 472 in the United States, 21 in Canada, and 8 in Europe. Zumiez recently reported their net income surged 22.1 percent year over-year to $22.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2012.

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