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Analysts love these retail stocks as the holiday season ramps up


With the Thanksgiving holiday behind us, the holiday shopping season has officially begun. However, investors have gotten a mixed picture of the retail landscape from company earnings, U.S. retail sales figures , consumer sentiment data and the still-high inflation that continues to plague shoppers. Consumers are watching their spending and retailers are figuring out what to do with excess inventory. Meanwhile, analysts and companies are reporting the consumer’s return to spending on going out. Some retailers are raising their financial forecasts while others are warning of a slowdown in sales this year. Using data from FactSet, CNBC Pro screened for retail stocks that may offer some certainty for investors. Each stock in this short list is in the S & P 1500 and has the following: A market cap of at least $1 billion Buy ratings from at least 70% of analysts that cover the stock At least 10 analysts covering the stock At least 15% upside to average price target Here are the five stocks we found: Amazon is the largest company on the list. It has buy ratings from about 79% of the 47 analysts who cover it and the biggest potential upside, 44.3%, to their average price target on the shares. Amazon is down 43% this year. Bath & Body Works is another beloved name. About 71% of the 20 analysts who cover the stock give it a buy rating. The shares slipped roughly 43% for the year. Auto retailer Lithia Motors is also on the list, with potential upside to the average price target of 36.3%. Shares have slid 22% in 2022. On the list, Academy Sports + Outdoors and Boot Barn Holdings have the largest percentage of buy ratings from their analysts, 91.7% and 83.3%, respectively. However, they have few total analysts covering them. Piper Sandler analyst Peter Keith recently reiterated his overweight rating on Boot Barn , noting that its sales have “structurally moved higher as a result of share gains and widening the appeal of the brand.” The shares are down about 48% for the year. Meanwhile, Wedbush analyst Seth Basham said Academy Sports’ “margin sustainability, execution of initiatives, and a re-baselined category point to upside bias,” in a September note. He reiterated the firm’s outperform rating and raised his price target on the shares. The stock price has risen this year, by 17%.

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