Why Lands' End Inc. Shares Leaped Today

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 multichannel retailer Lands' End (NASDAQ: LE  ) popped 10% today after its quarterly results topped Wall Street expectations.

So what: The stock has slumped since being spun off from Sears Holdings in April, but today's first-quarter results -- net income jumped 48% to $10.9 million on a revenue increase of 3.6% -- are prompting analysts to quickly raise their growth estimates. In fact, gross margin during the quarter expanded 60 basis points to 49% while same-store sales grew 3.4%, suggesting that Lands' End's competitive position is strengthening as well.

Now what: Don't expect the operating momentum to slow anytime soon. "We are encouraged by the positive customer response to our merchandising and marketing strategies and remain focused on improving the contemporary relevance of the Lands' End brand," said President and CEO Edgar Huber in a press release. "We are excited to be operating, once again, as an independent public company and believe we are well positioned to execute against our strategic initiatives to drive sales and earnings growth." When you couple Lands' End's still-questionable competitive moat with its suddenly hot stock price, however, I'd hold out for a wider margin of safety before betting on that bullishness. 

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