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You've probably seen or heard about Michael Kors' (NYSE: KORS ) blowout quarter, but you may have missed some highlights mentioned in the conference call that ensued. It was one of the most upbeat calls I have ever listened to and it gave even deeper insights into the company's success and growth plans going forward. Take a look at a brief overview of the quarter and the five most notable comments to determine if Michael Kors belongs in your portfolio.
The king of affordable luxury
Michael Kors is home to one of the most fashionable lines of women's and men's apparel and accessories. The most consumer attention has been placed on its watches and handbags, but it has been gaining ground in clothing, footwear, sunglasses, and other categories as well. There are not many fashion-house brands that cater to the tastes of both women and men, but Michael Kors has apparently found the recipe for success.
A glance at the results
Michael Kors' third-quarter report was released on Feb. 4 and it exceeded analyst expectations on both the top and bottom lines. Here's a brief overview of the results:
|Earnings per share||$1.11||$0.86|
|Revenue||$1.01 billion||$859.94 million|
- Earnings per share increased 73.4%
- Revenue increased 59%
- Comparable-store sales grew of 27.8%
- Gross profit increased 61.6% to $619.5 million
- Gross margin expanded 100 basis points to 61.2%
- North American sales increased 50.5%
- European sales increased 143.6%
- Other most notable statistic: there are now 533 Michael Kors stores worldwide, compared to just 368 at the conclusion of the third-quarter a year ago
This is the first time Michael Kors has exceeded $1 billion in revenue and this made for an absolute blowout quarter. These results caused the stock to spike more than 17% on the day of the release and it has continued its run higher.
The call that ensued
In the conference call following the earnings report, there was nothing but excitement and positivity pouring out of Michael Kors' management team, along with congratulatory comments from analysts. Here are the five most notable comments, all of which came from Michael Kors' Chief Executive Officer, John Idol:
Our third quarter results were outstanding as our exceptional product offering created by Michael Kors and our designs teams, as well as our unique jet-set shopping experience made Michael Kors the go-to destination for the holiday season... We communicated with our customers through email, catalog, print, outdoor and social media, which effectively conveyed the glamour and luxury of our holiday offering, capturing the customers' attention and generating strong demand globally.
We knew the earnings results were outstanding, but the insight on how the company communicated with its customers is what really stands out. By using many channels of communication, especially social media, the company was able to reach as many people as possible and show what it had to offer throughout the insane holiday shopping season. Needless to say, the campaign succeeded.
Our fragrance and beauty launch was met with great response... We plan to continue the global rollout of this new collection in additional markets in Europe, the Middle East and select markets in Asia in calendar 2014. Over the next few years, we expect to be one of the most significant brands in the luxury fragrance and beauty market globally.
The new line of fragrance and beauty products was initially launched in North America in August, but its quick success has led to expedited expansion plans. Entering a new category can be a gamble at times, but the Michael Kors brand is so strong that any new products are welcomed with open arms. I believe this collection will take off and grow brand awareness as Mr. Idol thinks, which will benefit the company's other product categories as well; it's like the saying, "a rising tide lifts all ships."
We grew our North America retail presence to 284 stores with the opening 20 stores during the quarter... Looking ahead, we are on pace to open 57 North America retail stores this fiscal year and continue to believe that there is room in the market for 400 stores over the long-term.
Expansion will allow Michael Kors to reach as many markets as possible and answer the demand of consumers worldwide. North America is not the only region that will see more stores, as Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Australia will also see additional locations. I believe this speaks to the strength of the brand and I commend management for planning to take full advantage of it.
"[W]e are working to transition e-commerce platform in-house in order to provide the consumer with a true omnichannel experience. Our new website will allow us to enhance the level of engagement between our online customers and the Michael Kors brand... We are seeing high double-digit increases in our worldwide search volume and in visitors to our existing website. By bringing e-commerce in sight and in-house, we will be able to better focus on communications, marketing and sales strategies to capitalize on the online growth opportunity."
I had alluded to the idea of Michael Kors growing its e-commerce platform in a previous article, but now it is in full effect. By growing its online presence, no longer accepting new e-commerce partners, and weeding out the current partners, Michael Kors can bring as much of its sales in-house as possible; this will lead to higher margins and gross profit as well, which investors and analysts strongly support.
[O]ur momentum remains strong as reflected in our third-quarter performance. We had an extremely successful holiday selling season, which we believe speaks to the strength of our brand. We exceeded our financial expectations and continue to execute on our strategic growth initiatives. We believe that we are well positioned for the long-term growth as we further expand the Michael Kors brand within the global luxury market.
Before turning the call over to the company's CFO, Mr. Idol gave his views on the future which point toward further expansion and strategic growth in every category. This will lead to higher market share, stronger financials, and what investors care about most -- a higher share price. I believe Mr. Idol and his team will lead the company to more quarters like this one, and will grow Michael Kors into one of the largest brands in the world.
The Foolish bottom line
Michael Kors has become the face of the luxury goods industry and it proved once again that its growth is unmatched in the market. Its record-setting earnings results were enough to send the stock soaring and the upbeat conference call was icing on the cake. All investors should strongly consider adding Michael Kors to their portfolios as its run higher is sure to continue.
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