Given the market's recent treatment of many retailers, I half-expected that Coldwater Creek
Second-quarter profits at Coldwater Creek nearly doubled to $12 million, or $0.13 per share. Sales increased a cool 41.2% to $215.4 million, while same-store sales rose 13.3% (compared to a 12.7% increase last year). It's an altogether impressive quarterly showing, with gross profit improving to 46.8% of sales, compared to 43.3% last quarter. Coldwater Creek has no debt and boasts a cash reserve of $113.3 million. The company also upped its guidance for the year to between $0.66 and $0.67 per share, giving investors even more reason for optimism.
However, let's note that Coldwater Creek's inventory increased 67.2%. When inventory grows faster than sales, it raises a red flag for investors; the company pegged the increase on the addition of 60 stores in the last year. SG&A ticked up slightly, which the company attributed to increased spending on a national ad campaign and personnel costs related to its continued expansion.
Coldwater Creek has emerged as a new hot highflier, posting impressive growth quarter after quarter, reminiscent of the kind of numbers Chico's
Interestingly, Coldwater Creek management talked about the progress of its day-spa concept in its conference call. The company is testing these concepts on a limited basis, and it said that 40% of its day spa customers have never purchased anything from Coldwater Creek in the past, giving it an interesting and unique way to familiarize more women with its brand. It's curious that an apparel retailer would diverge into pampering, but I can't help but wonder about its effect on the company's operational focus, which Fool co-founder Tom Gardner believes is key for most companies.
We'll have to see how the day-spa idea pans out, but for now, investors have plenty of reason to celebrate. However, given the stock's rise today, potential buyers might want to cool it a bit. Coldwater Creek has a trailing 12-month P/E of 57. And while many high-growth/high-multiple stocks do perform well for long periods, Chico's and Urban Outfitters are good examples of how high-flyers can get slapped down when something goes wrong. Coldwater Creek's firing on all cylinders, but investors might want to wait for a better opportunity to buy, lest they find themselves up this creek without a paddle.
For related content, see the following Foolish articles:
- Flash back to Coldwater Creek's fourth-quarter results.
- Read more about inventory through our Foolish Fundamentals series.
- Tom Gardner reminds companies: Focus! Focus! Focus!