By nature, children are unpredictable. Apparently, so are the companies that cater to them.
Shares of children's apparel and accessories retailer Gymboree
This time, though, there were no surprises. Well, almost. Some investors glancing through the report may have been ecstatic to see earnings of $0.28 per share, well above analyst estimates of $0.17. Unfortunately, that fabulous number was the result of a one-time tax benefit of $0.11. The company's overall sales rose 8% and same-store stales inched up 2%, but something -- most likely competition -- clearly took a sizable bite out of the margins and caused net income to decline by 34% from year-ago levels. Finally, packaging the good with the bad, the company re-affirmed its $0.25 to $0.30 earnings range for the upcoming fourth quarter but also stated that it expects flat comps.
Currently, things are looking a little uncertain for Gymboree. With the market hitting its yearly highs, the company's stock is lingering at the low end of its yearly trading range, 37% off the year's high. What's more, Gymboree's larger competitor Children's Place
On the other hand, Children's Place seems to be the prodigy of the bunch. This past quarter hasn't been kind to companies with similar market exposure -- neither clothing retailer Gap
Fool contributor Marko Djuranovic does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this article (or children who would shop at such stores).