Bling is the thing.
Luxury retailers continue to see hearty demand for higher-priced goods, and watchmaker Movado
Though the company saw good gross margin growth (up about 170 basis points to 60.2%), higher sales and administrative expenses reduced the operating margin growth to one-tenth of a percent. Nevertheless, operating profit grew more than 25%, and net income was up more than 35% for the quarter.
Licensed brands such as Coach and Tommy have performed well for Movado, both brands saw double-digit growth, and the addition of Hugo Boss should also pay off in higher sales and profits for Movado. On a separate front, same-store sales at Movado boutiques have been pretty good (up 3.2% this quarter), and the company continues to expand the concept.
I see Movado having several promising avenues of growth. Of course, there is the obvious potential in building up its existing brands and/or adding new in-licensed brands to supplement its roster. The company also continues to make progress with its overseas sales. Finally, Movado's margins have been a bit jerky in the past, but I don't see why the company couldn't achieve the double-digit operating-margin level that seems appropriate for a high-end name like Movado.
Even though I don't own a Movado watch, I've thought about it a lot. For me, at least, that says a lot -- not only am I tightwad, but also I haven't worn a watch in something like six years, so I'm not sure what I'd do with a Movado. There, in a nutshell, is the power of a good brand and slick design.
In my view, the attractiveness of Movado's stock is totally dependent upon whether those aforementioned avenues of growth lead to paydirt. If the company can boost growth, improve margins, and deliver a better return on equity, I don't see why the stock couldn't go a lot further from here. But then again, isn't that the case for most companies out there?
For more luxurious Foolish takes:
- Polo Ready to Run With Footwear
- Zale's Spring Bling Fling
- Can Tiffany Ring Up Growth?
- Movado's Precise Timing
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).