Have you shopped in the women's retailer section for investment ideas lately? If so, your portfolio is probably fashionably in style. These companies have seen a nice run over the past few years. Ann Taylor
Investors seemed to be less than thrilled with the news, however, bidding down Cache shares by more than 6% in recent trading. Part of this sell-off can be attributed to the more than 60% appreciation of its stock since April. Another reason for the weakness may well be Cache's shrinking margins.
Both gross margins and operating margins took a hit from store expansions and increased advertising costs, among other factors. This resulted in net income of $3 million, a substantial drop from last year's mark of $4.4 million.
The good news is that the decreasing earnings from its most recent quarter haven't tempered the company's enthusiasm. Cache has actually decided to raise its guidance for the remainder of the year. It now estimates fiscal 2005 earnings will range from $0.78 to $0.81 per share. The bad news is that this is still below fiscal 2004's EPS of $0.83.
As Cache aggressively expands, with plans to open 25 new stores this fiscal year, the associated costs will continue to drag down earnings. This should present ample buying opportunities over the next quarter or two.
Indeed, an aggressive expansion strategy, a clean balance sheet, and a fashionable lineup may add up to a classic market-beating investment in years to come.
For more on the competition, check out these articles:
- Chico's Is on Fire!
- Ann Taylor's Raggedy First Quarter
- Limited's Fashion Faux Pas
- A Piece of Boston at New York & Co.
Fool contributor Jeremy MacNealy does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.