Once again, we have one of those so-so monthly sales reports. Discounters like Wal-Mart
Where do you go for relief? You could do worse than Guess?
There were, of course, numbers worth watching. Gross margins were pinched a bit -- owing to lower product margins in Europe, according to what management said in the call. And inventory is beefing up. Again, management says that's necessary to support the new store growth. Makes sense, but always worth watching.
Clearly, Guess? is bucking the trend that's afflicting other apparel retailers. That's what can happen when you're working from a smaller base of sales, and gaining on the competition from a few yards back. But to me, the best reason to own Guess? is that it's truly an international company. For the first three-quarters of this year, North America provided 43% of operating profit. Guess? relies less and less on U.S. sales -- and that's good insurance in our sagging economy.
At the time of publication, Seth Jayson, a top-ten CAPS player, had shares of Guess? and American Eagle Outfitters, but no positions in any other company mentioned here. See his latest CAPS blog commentary here. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here. The Motley Fool owns shares of American Eagle.