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: Shares of kiddie clothing retailer Children's Place
So what: Fourth-quarter sales fell short of analyst expectations, and the management outlook on the coming quarter and year wasn't terribly impressive. But Children's Place absolutely annihilated the Street view in terms of fourth-quarter earnings, beating the consensus target by a rosy-cheeked 21%.
Now what: The company easily exceeded its own fourth-quarter guidance, which gives investors some reason to disregard timid forecasts for the coming year. A $0.09 benefits to earnings per share from an aggressive buyback program sure helped, and that plan was also reupped today. This is what a properly executed cost-savings program can do in the face of slow sales.
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