Clothing retailer Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) will announce third quarter results of fiscal 2014 after hours Monday. Shares slid 10% in September after the company revealed that the quarter was off to a weak start for competitive store sales, or comps. Could that weakness translate to the rest of the quarter's results?
Urban Outfitters' primary brands include the namesake chain and the higher-end Anthropologie and Free People stores. The target demographic is young and fashion-forward. The company's revenue has wavered this year under weaker summer sales and a competitive environment that includes Gap (NYSE:GPS) and L Brands (NYSE:LB).
How will Urban Outfitters perform in the third quarter?
Quarter estimates to beat
Analysts estimate third quarter revenue of $770 million and earnings per share of $0.45. If Urban Outfitters meets that revenue estimate, it will represent a 11% increase over last year and a 1% growth on the quarter.
Urban Outfitters has beat EPS estimates for four of the five past quarters. However, the company has missed revenue estimates every quarter this year so far.
Year over year numbers to beat
Investors will judge Urban Outfitters' third quarter performance by how it stacks up when compared to last year. What figures does Urban need to beat?
Third quarter 2012 net sales of $693 million -- 14% year over year growth -- and diluted EPS of $0.40. Comparable retail sales were up 8% overall, which break down into 24% for Free People, 7% for Urban Outfitters, and 6% for Anthropologie.
The third quarter of 2012 met analyst revenue estimates but missed on EPS.
Urban Outfitters' second quarter SEC filing revealed that the third quarter was getting off to a weak start. The company said that retail comparative store net sales were starting the quarter in the mid-single digits
Will comps move lower this quarter? It's possible since many stores reported lower traffic centered around back-to-school traffic. However, it's more a sign of the economy than anything Urban Outfitters did wrong. Competitors are suggesting lower or equal comps for the third.
Gap expects to report a third quarter comps increase of 1% with net sales of $3.98 billion and an EPS range of $0.70 to $0.71. Analysts estimate revenue of $4 billion and EPS of $0.71.
L Brands owns several retail chains including Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works. The company reported a comps bump of 8% in October. Analysts predict revenue of $2.2 billion and EPS of $0.27.
Foolish final thoughts
I wouldn't faint from shock if Urban Outfitters missed its revenue estimates for the third quarter since that seems to be the company's trend this year. However, that trend has also dictated that the misses were near misses. Urban Outfitters' comps aren't low enough to merit panic, particularly when Gap expects its comps to remain almost flat.