Shopping conglomerate QVC Group (QVCA) (NASDAQ: QVCB) beat the market last month, rising 15% compared to a 6% increase in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. QVC Group markets and sells various consumer products worldwide. The company is a subsidiary of Liberty Interactive Corporation (Liberty).
The rally added to a good year for shareholders, who saw their stock edge past the market by rising 22% in 2017.
January's stock price gain came after the company completed its acquisition of HSN, which helped it extend its dominance in TV-focused retailing. But investors were likely more motivated by what appears to be a rebound building in the core business. Its QVC segment returned to growth in the third quarter as viewership rose on broadcast TV and the company extended its reach in direct-to-consumer platforms.
QVC will post earnings results for the critical holiday shopping season on March 1. That report could clear up many investor questions, including whether the recent U.S. rebound was a temporary blip or marked the start of a longer-term trend. QVC carries significant debt -- nearly $8 billion -- as a result of a string of acquisitions in the TV and digital commerce niches. Over the coming quarters, shareholders will be looking for evidence that these assets are delivering value and allowing management to pay down those liabilities while still investing in the business.