As urban dwellers continue to escape to nature, roughing it on treacherous trails, shooting rapids, and hanging from cliffs, plenty of companies are hoping to become the apparel of choice for the extreme outdoors. Cloudveil, Marmot, Patagonia, Arc'teryx, Mountain Hardware, Montrail, Merrell, Ex Officio, and Columbia Sportswear
Because of growth in its outdoor wear and sportswear, it was no surprise VF was able to produce another quarter of record results. Third-quarter sales rose 25% compared with the same quarter a year ago, while the company's net income of $155.4 million increased 24% year over year. As a result, the company raised its quarterly dividend $0.01 to $0.27 -- the 14th consecutive year it increased its quarterly dividend.
Establishing a yearly growth target of 8% going forward, VF expects to see continued strength going through the fourth quarter and into 2005. While 8% growth in of itself does not appear too impressive, considering that VF is the largest apparel maker in the world, this is a strong target for the company to aim for.
How does its growth projection compare with its current valuation? Through three quarters in 2004, the company managed $402 million in structural free cash flow (SFCF), giving it a run rate of SFCF of $536 million. With an enterprise value of $6.3 billion, trading at 11.7 times SFCF (slightly above its 8% growth rate), VF appears to be fairly valued.
With apparel giants such as Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Gap
Fool contributor Jeremy MacNealy is an urbanite dressed as an extreme outdoors gearhead, but he does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.