SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

October 31, 2012 08:20 ET

Retail Stocks Performing Admirably Despite Economic Slowdown - Consumer Spending in September Gains the Most in Six Months

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on American Eagle and Lululemon

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Oct 31, 2012) - Retail stocks have performed admirably in 2012 despite concerns of a global economic slowdown. The Standard and Poor's 500 Retailing Index has gained 22 percent year-to-date, compared to a gain of 12 percent for the S&P 500 Index. Retail Metrics Inc. earlier this month reported that U.S. same store sales of the companies tracked by the research firm increased 3.9 percent in September, topping analysts' estimates of 3.7 percent. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Retail Industry and provides equity research on American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) and Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU).

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Recent data has shown that consumer spending in September saw its biggest increase in 6 months. The Commerce Department on Monday reported that consumer spending increased 0.8 percent in September, which was twice the gain seen in personal income, after a 0.5 percent gain in August. According to Bloomberg economists had predicted a gain of 0.6 percent.

"The strength in September gives consumer spending a good lift for the fourth quarter," said Stephe Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC. "The housing market seems to have turned. Consumers are clearly feeling better and are going out and spending a bit more."

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American Eagle operates more than 1,000 stores in North America, and ships to 77 countries worldwide through its websites. For the third quarter of 2012, management expects EPS from continuing operations to be in the range of $0.37 to $0.38 per diluted share, compared to $0.30 last year. American Eagle is scheduled to release its third quarter financials on November 26, 2012.

Lululemon Athletica is a designer and retailer of technical athletic apparel operating primarily in North America and Australia. The company reported net revenue for the second quarter of 2012 surged 33 percent to $282.6 million from $212.3 million in the year-ago quarter. For the full fiscal 2012, the company expects net revenue to be in the range of $1.345 billion to $1.360 billion.

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