Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Women's clothier AnnTaylor
So what: Sales were up 9% overall, with same-store sales rising nearly 12%. The most surprising factoid in today's news, though, was the surprising strength of the company's upmarket AnnTaylor stores, which beat the pants off Ann's cheaper Loft brand, scoring a 21.9%-to-4.5% advantage in comparable sales.
Now what: And it gets better. Ann predicted mid-to-high-single-digit comps gains for the holiday quarter to come, echoing bullish sentiment at Target
After two years of doom, gloom, and malaise, it appears that consumers are feeling frisky again, buying more stylish duds, and willing -- nay, eager -- to pay up for the privilege. Specialty retailers Abercrombie & Fitch
And yet, with a stock priced at 35 times earnings today, it almost looks like the good news has been baked into this stock price already. It gets a Fool to wondering ... maybe the best way to play this news is to take a position in a cheaper stock such as J. Crew
Post 'em below.
Want more information on AnnTaylor Stores? Add it to your watchlist.Fool contributor Rich Smith does not have any position in any company named above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Wal-Mart Stores is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Wal-Mart Stores is a Motley Fool Global Gains choice. The Fool owns shares of Wal-Mart Stores. Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.