Why Christopher & Banks Corporation Shares Bounced

Is this meaningful? Or just another movement?

Jun 10, 2014 at 5:28PM

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 Christopher & Banks Corporation (NYSE:CBK) were moving higher today, gaining as much as 17% and finishing 10% higher on a strong earnings report.

So what: The clothing seller said profit improved from $0.02 a share a year ago to $0.07 a share, better than the $0.02 analysts expected as profitability improved while the company's store base decreased by nearly 10% over the year. Gross margin increased 250 basis points to 36.7%, evidence that the strategy is working, though same-store sales fell 0.2% and overall revenue declined 4.7% to $103.4 million, essentially in line with estimates of $103.2 million

Now what: Like many retailers, Christopher & Banks said poor winter weather had an impact on sales, as comps came in below expectations, but CEO LuAnn Via said business improved along with the weather and the company "realized momentum on its strategic initiatives." Looking ahead, management sees a same-store-sales increase of low to mid-single digits in the current quarter, surpassing a 7.7% increase a year ago, and it expects a gross margin improvement of 100 to 150 basis points. With the store closure portion of strategy now mostly behind it, the company is focusing on growth in its Missy, Petite, and Women stores, which are outperforming the rest of the company and should lead to greater profits. Considering the modest expectations for Christopher & Banks for the rest of the year, beat I wouldn't be surprised to see more earnings beats down the line.

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A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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