Michael Kors or Tiffany: Which Luxury Titan Posted Better Quarterly Results?

Michael Kors (NYSE: KORS  )  and Tiffany (NYSE: TIF  ) are two of the most well-known designers and retailers of luxury products in the world and both have recently released earnings for their respective quarters. Let's compare the companies' results and outlooks on the quarters ahead to determine which had the stronger quarter and represents the better investment opportunity right now.

Breaking down the quarterly reports

Source: Michael Kors' Facebook

Michael Kors released its fourth-quarter report on May 28 and the results exceeded analysts' expectations on both the top and bottom lines; here's a breakdown and year-over-year comparison:

Metric Reported Expected
Earnings Per Share $0.78 $0.68
Revenue $917.45 million $816.67 million

Source: Estimize

  • Earnings per share increased 56%
  • Revenue increased 53.6%, including:
    • North America: 43% increase
    • Europe: 125.3% increase
    • Other Regions: 88.5% increase
  • Global comparable-store sales increased 26.2%, including:
    • North America: 20.6% increase
    • Europe: 62.7% increase
  • Gross profit increased 54.2% to $549.4 million
  • Gross margin expanded 20 basis points to 59.9%
  • Operating profit increased 58.3% to $245.9 million
  • Operating margin expanded 80 basis points to 26.8%
  • Expansion update: Michael Kors opened 22 new stores during the quarter, bringing its total store count to 555 worldwide; of the now 555 stores, 405 are company-owned and 150 are licensed. 

Source: Tiffany's Facebook

On May 21, Tiffany released its first-quarter report for fiscal 2014 and the results exceeded expectations on both the top and bottom lines as well; here's a breakdown and year-over-year comparison:

Metric Reported Expected
Earnings Per Share $0.97 $0.78
Revenue $1.01 billion $955.12 million

Source: Benzinga

  • Earnings per share increased 49%
  • Revenue increased 13%, including:
    • Americas: 8% increase
    • Asia-Pacific: 17% increase
    • Europe: 9% increase
  • Global comparable-store sales increased 11%, including:
    • Americas: 8% increase 
    • Asia-Pacific: 10% increase
    • Japan: 29% increase
    • Europe: 3% decrease
  • Gross profit increased 17.1% to $589.5 million
  • Gross margin expanded 200 basis points to 58.2%
  • Operating profit increased 48.6% to $209.8 million
  • Operating margin expanded 490 basis points to 20.7%
  • Repurchased approximately $7 million worth of its common stock
  • Updated store count: Tiffany opened three net new stores during the quarter, bringing its total store count to 292 worldwide.

What do the companies expect going forward?

Source: Michael Kors

In its fourth-quarter report, Michael Kors also provided its guidance for the full year of fiscal 2015; here's what the company expects to accomplish:

Metric Fiscal 2015 Outlook Fiscal 2014 Actual
Earnings Per Share $3.85-$3.91 $3.22
Revenue $4.0 billion-$4.1 billion $3.31 billion

Source: Michael Kors

These estimates would result in earnings per share increasing 19.6%-21.4% and revenue increasing 20.8%-23.9% from fiscal 2014. Michael Kors added that it expects earnings per share in the range of $0.78-$0.80 and revenue in the range of $840 million-$850 million in the first-quarter, which represent year-over-year increases of 27.9%-31.1% and 31.1%-32.6%, respectively. It is also worth noting that if this outlook is accurate, each result would be a record-setting performance.

Source: Tiffany & Co.

Following its strong first-quarter report, Tiffany increased its earnings per share outlook and reaffirmed its other growth expectations for the full year; here's what the company now expects to accomplish:

  • Earnings per share in the range of $4.15-$4.25, up from its previously estimated range of $4.05-$4.15
  • Revenue growth in the high single-digit percentage range
  • Nine net new stores

This updated outlook calls for earnings-per-share growth of 11.3%-13.9% from fiscal 2013 and would bring yearly revenue to over $4.25 billion. Tiffany added that it anticipates free cash flow of at least $400 million and this, paired with its $381 million of cash and cash equivalents at the end of the first quarter, will enable the company to accelerate share repurchases and maintain its healthy 1.5% dividend going forward.

Source: Michael Kors' Facebook

And the winner is...
After reviewing the companies' earnings results and outlooks going forward, the winner of this match-up is Michael Kors; it was an incredibly close competition, but Michael Kors reported higher growth in the majority of the key financial categories and its outlook on fiscal 2015 calls for another high-growth and record-setting year.

On the day of its earnings release, Michael Kors' stock jumped 1.33% higher, but it has fallen more than 3% in the weeks since. The stock now sits over 6% below its 52-week high and trades at just 24 times 2015's estimated earnings, and I believe this represents a picturesque buying opportunity. Foolish investors should strongly, and I mean strongly, consider initiating positions in Michael Kors right now and adding to them on any further weakness.

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8/28/2015 1:19 PM
KORS $43.46 Up +0.18 +0.42%
Michael Kors Holdi… CAPS Rating: ****
TIF $83.63 Up +0.34 +0.41%
Tiffany & Co. CAPS Rating: ***