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One Retailer that Shocked Analysts with Fantastic 2015 Growth

By Motley Fool Staff - Feb 5, 2016 at 9:30AM

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First it was Coach, and now another luxury retailer's stock is surging after handily beating analysts' estimates.

Michael Kors' (CPRI 0.55%) 2015 results are in, and the company's revenues are up far more than analysts' predictions, despite having to deal with the same foreign currency headwinds that have eaten up the profits of so many other companies this past year.

In this clip, Sean O'Reilly and Vincent Shen talk about what Michael Kors has been doing to make this growth happen, what new strategies the CEO alluded to in its earnings call, and how investors should look at the stock and the company in light of its unexpected growth.

A transcript follows the video.

This podcast was recorded on Feb. 3, 2016. 

Sean O'Reilly: Moving on from Chipotle to Michael Kors. This is a nice little follow-up to our Coach (TPR 0.62%) show, where we talked about Coach's great results. They had their first growth-based quarter in like eight, 10 quarters.

Vincent Shen: Yeah, something close to that.

O'Reilly: Michael Kors, too, has been getting beat up. Nobody wants designer handbags I guess. They just reported and it was pretty good.

Shen: There are some very clear similarities here between the areas where Coach saw success, that we talked about, and where Michael Kors has seen success with them releasing their results before the open today. First of all, this is for their fiscal 2016 third quarter. Their revenue was up about 6.3% to $1.4 billion. Up almost 10% in constant currency. They have their international segment and obviously, like many companies, it's been hit by unfavorable currency exchange.

Their retail net sales were up 11.1% year-over-year. They had double-digit growth in e-commerce, really big. Also, a lot of new store openings. While their comps were down about 0.9% in constant currency, retail net sales were actually up almost 16%, and comps were up actually 2% when you exclude the currency effects. Keep in mind with that really positive revenue growth that the company has increased its retail store count by about 20% in the past year.

O'Reilly: Where was all that, because that's a big number?

Shen: They had ... There's about 100 locations, about 100 locations being kept at 20% and I think it was ... They have different locations with their outlets and then their retail stores, and they also have been licensing store-in-a-store with department stores. In terms of geographic segments, I think it was mostly in the U.S. Obviously, they're focused on their international expansion which we'll get to. I'm not ...

O'Reilly: Cool. That's fine. How are they doing with operating margins?

Shen: Sure. Their other parts of business, their wholesale net sales and their licensing revenue were also up for the quarter. Their operating margin shrunk about 2.5 percentage points.

O'Reilly: Is that because they kept opening more outlet stores and stuff?

Shen: I think that's a lot of it. I think it has to do with also a bit of an investment in terms of what they're putting into their e-commerce initiatives, for example. Earnings per share $1.59, up 7% year-over-year even though there was a negative currency impact of about $0.06 per share. They're showing some really positive ... This, by the way, I should note, all of this really surprised, at least with the analyst estimates, where they beat them pretty handily. Their stock was up 22% before we came down.

O'Reilly: Wow.

Shen: Another thing I wanted to mention too from their report was, they've been pretty active with their share repurchases for the past few quarters. So for this one, the repurchase is about 4.7 million shares. Previously 9.4 and the other quarters, the three quarters before that ...

O'Reilly: This is turning out to be a really good move.

Shen: Exactly. In all, in the past four quarters, the company's repurchased about 20 million shares. They reduced their shares outstanding by about 10%. During this tougher climate for them, they've been focused on making sure that they're kind of maximizing where possible those returns to their shareholders. Very positive.

Specifically, for their business, some of their offerings -- their shoes and accessories -- did really well. Their e-commerce, like I mentioned, double-digit growth. Their international markets, especially with Asia, again doing very well. That's actually very similar to what Coach reported. They had that acquisition. Their shoes were doing really well. Some of their other accessories did very well. Their e-commerce efforts in Asia markets were big for them, so it mirrors very closely. You can see that.

It's really interesting during the earnings call, CEO John Idol brought up a really cool point where, from where their e-commerce efforts, they noticed how in mobile and online, their offerings have expanded, but customers were flocking a lot to footwear. Having data like that has made them realize that that's become a really popular category for us, and now they're thinking about how that can apply to their actual physical retail stores as well, and hopefully benefit from some of that data they get from those online efforts.

O'Reilly: Cool.

Shen: In terms of near-term catalysts, they have their major spring collection planned. Big picture, we see that despite overall lower retail foot traffic during the holiday season -- I think retail metrics had it down about 6% or over 6% -- not all companies have been losers. Macy's and some of those other companies have been struggling, but we know that JC Penney, for example, Coach, Michael Kors, they're kind of taking share away; and obviously, it's not like across the entire sector. Everybody has been struggling with some of these issues in terms of the unseasonably warm weather or the currency fluctuations hurting tourist spending, for example. Even though the stock's up 22% for the day, it's still trading at just 11 times trailing 12-month earnings.

O'Reilly: The market's 20.

Shen: I should add that Coach, coincidentally, is up about 23% since it reported Jan. 26. Again, really similar.

O'Reilly: Right.

Shen: If management can really continue to execute with these popular offerings, they have an attractive e-commerce online shopping model as well. Their footprint expansion, they opened up ... They increased 20% in store count. That's going to continue, hopefully. They're seriously worth consideration in terms of a nice value play.

O'Reilly: Cool.

Sean O'Reilly has no position in any stocks mentioned. Vincent Shen has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Coach. The Motley Fool owns shares of Michael Kors Holdings. 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.

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