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Shares of Coach (NYSE: COH ) are up more than 8% today, after the leather-goods maker posted solid first-quarter results. One key investors should focus on in Coach's recent earnings report is growth overseas. Higher international sales were partially to thank for a 3% spike in earnings from the year-ago period.
For the quarter ended Sept. 29, Coach generated a profit of $221.4 million, or $0.77 a share. According to Bloomberg, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.75 per share. China represented a particularly bright spot for the company, as sales in the Asian market accelerated nearly 40%. While 40% growth in China is below last year's 60%, it's still reassuring given the current state of the global luxury-goods market.
Comps in China also looked strong, with the region's same-store-sales up in the double-digit range. Perhaps this is a good sign for other luxury-goods brands, such as Tiffany (NYSE: TIF ) and Michael Kors (NYSE: KORS ) . Michael Kors reports earnings on Nov. 13, followed by Tiffany on Nov. 29. In the meantime, let's see how these luxury retail stocks stack up to Coach in terms of price performance .
Heading into the holiday shopping season, many analysts worry that the looming fiscal cliff and a possible slowdown in China could hurt luxury retail sales. However, Coach's recent earnings report should help alleviate some of those concerns. In fact, Coach's international growth story is just getting started, and expansion into foreign markets like China should carry the company higher in future quarters.
Management's decision to buy back shares is another encouraging point for investors. The luxury accessories company approved a $1.5 billion share repurchase plan, set to expire on June 30, 2015. Shares of Coach are currently trading just under $59 apiece. But with a forward price-to-earnings of 12, the stock looks like a buy -- particularly thanks to its strong growth potential in international markets.
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