Matalan & SuperGroup warn on tough 2012

Busy trading session on Wednesday with shares of Skechers and Guess Inc downgrowded by analyst, Matalan and SuperGroup warning on a tough year ahead and Gymboree´s loan dragging attention from market insiders.

Shares of Skechers USA opened at 12.64 on Wednesday. Skechers USA has a one year low of $11.21 and a one year high of $23.66. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $12.5 and its 200-day moving average is $14.13. The company’s market cap is $630.6 million. It has been a tricky period for the shoe maker as, according to 10 News, a San Diego law firm is filing a class-action suit against the shoemaker, naming 37 customers who were injured while using Shape-ups or Tone-ups to get fit. In addition to claims of negligence and fraud, all customers in the suit cited serious injuries, from torn cartilage to hip fractures.

Although not being directly linked to the issue, the stock was downgraded by equities research analysts at BB&T (NYSE: BBT) from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Guess suffered also a downgrade, in this case coming from Piper Jaffray: from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note also issued on Wednesday. LocalizedUSA published that analysts at Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Guess from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note to investors on Thursday, December 29th. They now have a $27.00 price target on the stock.

Still in the US, loans that funded Gymboree Corp.'s $1.8 billion buyout by Bain Capital LLC are approaching a record low following four straight quarterly losses since the private- equity firm took the children's retailer private in 2010, reported Bloomberg. Following latest released data, the retailer´s company's $820 million term loan (due in February 2018) has fallen 1.6 cents this year to 87.7 cents on the dollar, 0.05 cent from a low of 87.2 reached in August, according to Markit Group Ltd.

Across the Pond, in London, Matalan warned that "The outlook for the UK consumer continues to remain uncertain with increasing pressures on disposable incomes, declining confidence levels and the expectation of a tough January and February 2012." In a similar tone expressed its concerns management at SuperGroup. Owner of Supedry brand warned that a tough year lies ahead and advanced its plans to cut down prices instead of passing on customers the new increases in costs.

SuperGroup said its total group sales increased 22 per cent during the period from October 31 to January 1, amounting to takings of £79m (£65m in 2011).Total retail sales increased 28 per cent to £66m (£52m in 2011) and like-for-like retail sales, including internet transactions, were up by 5.8 per cent during the period and 9.3 per cent in December. Julian Dunkerton, chief executive officer and founder of the business, said: "We are pleased to report a solid Christmas period when set against the difficult economic climate, our own distribution issues in the autumn and our exceptionally strong Christmas sales last year.

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