Shares of apparel label Ralph Lauren (RL 1.48%) were higher by 6.9% heading into Tuesday's close following a stellar fiscal first-quarter report highlighted by triple-digit sales growth.
For Ralph Lauren's fiscal first quarter ending in June, revenue of $1.38 billion beat the year-earlier top line by 182%. Last year's quarterly operating loss of $168.0 million was reversed with operating income of $220.6 million, easily topping expectations for a per-share profit of $0.88 with actual earnings of $2.29 per share.
Circumstances set the stage for the incredible results. A year ago, most retailers were shuttered as part of an effort to curb the pandemic. Last quarter, consumers jumped at the chance to get out and shop, looking for at least some small sense of pre-pandemic normalcy.
This was especially true of consumers in North America, which is the company's single biggest market. They purchased $662.1 million worth of Ralph Lauren clothing, up a little over 300% from the year-ago comparison of $165.1 million,
Last quarter's results were an admittedly explosive microcosm of the reopening process now underway, but a microcosm nonetheless. The company believes sales for the quarter now underway will come in between 20% and 22% better than numbers for the same quarter a year earlier, and improve between 25% and 30% for the fiscal year ending in March. There's no reason to think the apparel brand isn't capable of such improvement, either, making shares a compelling prospect.
Would-be buyers might want to at least hold off a bit, however, and let shares settle down from the 14% gain they've logged just since last Thursday. This isn't a ticker that holds into huge moves all that well, although it is a name in the habit of resuming trends -- up and down -- once reeled in from exaggerated moves.