Fourth-quarter net income declined 3.1% to $75.2 million, or $0.45 per share. Revenue increased 14%, to $668.4 million, and same-store sales fell 2%. That decline was offset by stronger direct-to-consumer sales, which allowed the company to boost comparable sales by 1%, 28%, and 5% at major concepts Anthropologie, Free People, and its namesake chain, respectively.
Urban Outfitters' earnings missed analysts' $0.52 per-share profit prediction, which explains why many investors are hitting the panic-sell button. In addition, gross margin decreased 208 basis points because of merchandise markdowns. This has led some media companies (and obviously some investors) to question whether Urban Outfitters has lost its fashion sense.
History repeats itself
Urban Outfitters suffered a similar "fashion miss" back in 2006 -- a short-lived problem, as it turned out. Investors who held on (or bought at the lows) reaped handsome rewards. Just glance at the stock chart over the last 10 years, and you'll notice that major dips have proven to be very good times for long-haul investors to purchase shares of Urban Outfitters.
History shows us that retail turnarounds aren't easy to pull off. Companies like Gap
On the conference call, Urban Outfitters' management discussed current fashion shifts that won't be easy for any retailer to navigate, and explained the difficulties of catering to budget-conscious shoppers. Still, Urban Outfitters' in-depth fashion sense and knowledge of its own customers make it one of the very few retail stocks I truly trust owning for the long haul. (See the discussion fellow Fool Dayana Yochim and I had about this stock in November.)
Sometimes when a stock gets cut to ribbons, it's the perfect time for long-term investors to buy. Bargain hunters, take note: Urban Outfitters is on sale today.
Alyce Lomax owns shares of Urban Outfitters. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.