Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Polo Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL ) rose more than 10% to set a new 52-week high after the company reported strong fiscal third quarter results and doubled its dividend.
So what: Reports of a recovery in consumer spending appear to be spot on. Revenue increased 25% to $1.5 billion. Profit rose 56% to $1.72 a share. Analysts were expecting $1.46 billion and $1.29, respectively, according to Yahoo! Finance data.
Now what: Impressive, yes? I'd say so. But more impressive may be Polo Ralph Lauren's outlook. During today's earnings call, executives expressed faith in the company's ability to continue to sell its wares at full-price despite a retail environment that promotes discounting.
That's in sharp contrast to peer The Jones Group (NYSE: JNY ) , which last month suffered a sell-off after reporting lower margins due to an overly "promotional" retail environment. Jones lacks the pricing power Polo claims it has.
But this is also more than just a claim. By doubling the dividend, management is betting real money on being right. Shareholders like the confidence, and so do I.