What happened

Shares of Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) -- a global manufacturer of products including apparel, home, footwear, and accessories -- jumped nearly 15% higher Thursday morning after the company delivered better-than-expected second-quarter fiscal 2020 results.

So what

While a long list of retailers faced stock price volatility amid the United States' trade spat with China, it was strong demand from Asia that helped drive strong second-quarter results for Ralph Lauren. Net revenue increased 1% to $1.7 billion, compared to the prior year, a result that topped analysts' estimates of $1.69 billion. Same-store sales rose 1%, which was better than estimates for flat results there. Adjusted earnings per share checked in at $2.55, well ahead of analysts' estimates for $2.39 per share.

Ralph Lauren storefront in Rome.

Ralph Lauren Rome store. Image source: Ralph Lauren.

"Our global teams are elevating our iconic brand across every market and channel," said Ralph Lauren, executive chairman and chief creative officer. "From our stores to our digital flagships and the way we are connecting on social media, the authentic expression of the Ralph Lauren lifestyle is showing up in relevant ways all over the world."

Now what

It was no doubt a solid result for Ralph Lauren: The company topped its own expectations for revenue, operating margins went up 130 basis points, and earnings per share increased by double digits -- all while it dealt with a challenging and uncertain retail and trade environment. Look for it to continue to focus on initiatives that are driving business: bringing a new generation of consumers, developing core products in underserved categories, expanding internationally, and growing its digital presence. Also look for Ralph Lauren to focus on Europe and Asia, where it's considered more of a premium brand than it is in America, to drive overall growth. Lastly, investors should take today's stock price pop with a grain of salt and remember that the retail environment remains challenging and takes understanding to navigate.

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