After many prominent blow ups in the retail and consumer space in the past week, moments ago Nordstrom was the latest casualty of the US consumer's unwillingness to spend money when the company reported Q1 EPS of $0.26, missing consensus estimates of $0.46 by nearly half, and about a third of what the company earned last year despite relatively flat revenues of $3.25 billion which also missed expectations of $3.29 billion. Comparable sales dropped -1.7% on estimates of an unchanged print.
What was worse, however, and the reason why the stock is getting monkeyhammered after hours is that the company slashed its guidance, and instead of seeing a 0-2% increase in comp sales, JWN now expects -1 to +1% for 2016. Worst of all is that instead of seeing EPS of $3.10-$3.35, Nordstrom slashed earnings guidance, and now expects only $2.50-$2.70 in EPS for the full year.
None of this should come as a surprise: precisely one week ago we reported that the true state of the US consumer is deplorable when "All Six Retail Companies Reporting April Comp Sales Missed." Now we are just seeking the flowthrough on the income statement.
The one good thing about JWN is that the company did not blame a stronger dollar (because it wasn't in Q1), nor weather, but instead admitted the problem: lower sales. To wit:
“Our first quarter results were impacted by lower than expected sales. In response we have made further adjustments to our inventory and expense plans,” said Blake Nordstrom, co-president, Nordstrom, Inc. “As the pace of change in retail continues to accelerate, we remain committed to serving customers by taking steps that will continue to meet their expectations while driving profitable growth.”
The bottom line, of course, is that just like all the other retailers, Nordstrom is merely suffering from the same reason all the other retailers are getting crushed in Q1 - a US consumer who simply refuses to spend. Since that same consumer accounts for two thirds of US GDP, the Federal Reserve has a major problem on its hands.
Some consumers who definitely won't be spending much in the coming days are JWN longs: the stock has plunged as much as 15% after hours and is back to levels not seen since September 2011.