It was exactly one year ago that Urban Outfitters'
Urban Outfitters' fourth-quarter net income edged up, although earnings per share were flat. Sales increased 13% to $360.8 million, while same-store sales decreased 5% versus an 8% increase in comps this time last year. Margins decreased as the company navigated a difficult 2006. (Our Fool by Numbers feature delivers Urban Outfitters' fourth-quarter earnings numbers in their entirety.)
In a refreshing departure from many retailers' tidings, Anthropologie and Free People both experienced positive comps in February. The news media reported that many retailers' comps lagged during the frigid and stormy month, and blaring headlines asked whether it was "weather or styles" that caused the problem. Some of the retailers highlighted for a weaker-than-expected February were Wal-Mart
Although Urban Outfitters' press release said it's "guardedly optimistic" about its "modest" sales goals, in the conference call, Hayne expressed his belief that the retailer has emerged from the "period of confusion" caused by the now-infamous tectonic shift in fashion. He said the retailer is finding appropriate ways to interpret the new fashion looks for its brands.
Let's not forget the mysterious Concept 4. Urban Outfitters is expected to announce exactly what the new retail concept will be by the end of the third quarter this year, although the company described the demographic it will target as one it knows well: "the well educated, well read, and well traveled woman." Well. I, for one, can't wait to hear more.
Of course, we'll all have to wait and see what really transpires, but it's good to hear some optimism from Urban Outfitters (and to its credit, the company seemed very frank during last year's fashion shake-up). All in all, it looks like it could be an interesting year for Urban Outfitters.
Flash back to Urban Outfitters over the last year:
- Revisit Urban Outfitters' third-quarter earnings.
- Here's the first-quarter earnings take on Urban.
- Last year this time, Urban Outfitters talked about a tough fashion shift.