Itochu Corp. (ITOCY) outperforming other retail and wholesale stocks this year?

For those looking to find strong retail and wholesale stocks, it is prudent to look for group companies that outperform their peers. Itochu Corp. (ITOCY) is a stock that can certainly catch the eye of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to those of the sector as a whole? A quick look at the company’s year-to-date performance relative to the rest of the retail and wholesale industry should help answer that question.

Itochu Corp. is a member of the retail and wholesale industry. This group consists of 232 individual stocks and currently holds a Zacks Sector Rank of #4. The Zacks Sector Ranking includes 16 different groups and is ranked from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Ranking of individual companies in each of these sectors.

The Zacks Rankings is a proven system that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions, highlighting a variety of stocks that display the right characteristics to beat the market over the next one to three months. Itochu Corp. currently sports a Zacks rank of #2 (buy).

Over the past quarter, the Zacks consensus estimate for ITOCY’s full-year earnings rose 1.5%. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive trend in the earnings outlook.

Our latest available data shows that the ITOCY has returned around 0.1% since the start of the calendar year. Meanwhile, the retail and wholesale sector posted an average return of -12.3% on a year-to-date basis. This means Itochu Corp. outperformed its sector in terms of returns so far this year.

Signet (SIG) is another retail and wholesale stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year. Since the start of the year, the stock has risen 2.9%.

Signet’s current-year EPS consensus estimate rose 10.6% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks #1 rank (Strong Buy).

Breaking down further, Itochu Corp. is a member of the Retail – Miscellaneous industry, which comprises 24 individual companies and is currently ranked 73rd in the Zacks industry rankings. This group has lost an average of 10.9% so far this year, so ITOCY is performing better in this area.

In contrast, Signet falls under the retail industry – jewelry. Currently, this industry has 6 stocks and is ranked #6. Year-to-date, the industry has moved +181.9%.

Itochu Corp. and Signet may continue their strong performance, so investors interested in retail and wholesale stocks should continue to pay close attention to these stocks.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Garland K. Long