Investors never know what to expect for Liz Claiborne (NYSE: LIZ), as it has wavered between topping and missing analysts estimates during the past fiscal year. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, July 28. Liz Claiborne and its wholly-owned and majority-owned subsidiaries are engaged mainly in the design and marketing of a global portfolio of retail-based premium brands including JUICY COUTURE, KATE SPADE, LUCKY BRAND, and MEXX.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on Liz Claiborne with three of five analysts rating it hold. Analysts don't like Liz Claiborne as much as competitor Talbots overall. Four out of 11 analysts rate Talbots a buy compared to one of five for Liz Claiborne.
  • Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $522.1 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a decline of 8.4% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is a loss of $0.28 per share. Estimates range from a loss of $0.35 to a loss of $0.18.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock with 84.1% giving it an "outperform" rating. The community at large agrees with the All-Stars with 76.8% awarding it a rating of "outperform." Fools are gung-ho about Liz Claiborne and haven't been shy with their opinions lately, logging 144 posts in the past 30 days. Liz Claiborne's bearish CAPS rating of two out of five stars falls short of the Fool community sentiment.

Revenue has fallen for the past three quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross, operating, and net margins over the past four quarters. 

Quarter Q1 Q4 Q3 Q2
Gross Margin 52.4% 50.6% 51.3% 49.5%
Operating Margin -9.8% -1.3% -3% -15.2%
Net Margin -18.8% -4.5% -9.5% -15.2%

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