Many retailers saw both their sales and margins squeezed during the recession, and are just beginning to rebound now. Some high-end retailers, however, have seen their sales and revenues soar over the past couple years.
I took a look at some of these companies, and found that their stock prices are looking very affordable -- even if their wares are a bit pricey. Let's consider four of these stocks: Two overachievers and two cheaper bets that you might want to consider before shares take off.
Michael Kors Holdings (NYS: KORS) is a newcomer to the big board, launching a very successful IPO last December. Its stock is still sitting at more than double its initial $20-per-share offering. Since its debut, the company has been on a roll, beating targets on both earnings per share and revenue. The retailer has opened 28 new stores, and is looking to double its North American store count. Kors knows how to market himself and his brand, having increased his name recognition greatly via ProjectRunway. Between this ambitious expansion plan and a stock value that has increased almost more than 50% in three months, this stock won't stay under $50 for long.
Coach (NYS: COH) is in Michael Kors' sights, but this venerable fashion accessory retailer will be tough to beat. The company presented a robust second-quarter report, noting a 15% increase in sales over the prior year as well as an almost 9% boost in same-store North American sales year over year. The company's expansion in China is also fueling growth, where the company now has 80 stores. Coach's line of men's accessories is also doing well, and worldwide sales are estimated to top $400 million this year.
Shares of Liz Claiborne (NYS: LIZ) are looking like a real bargain for a couple of reasons. One is that there has been some takeover chatter as of late, since Liz had a bit of a stumble last year; some analysts think $20 per share would not be an outrageous offer. The other is that Liz holds some valuable brands in its stable, notably Kate Spade, Lucky Brand, and Juicy Couture. Of course, those hip lines could also spell rebounding fortunes for Liz this year, especially with the company's rebirth under the Fifth & Pacific banner coming in mid-May. As a consequence, this stock may merit investment consideration sooner rather than later.
Last, but not least, is Vera Bradley (NAS: VRA) , which has lost 36% of its value over the past year. Why, you may ask, is would this be a good stock to own? Well, because it seems to me that there is a real surge in store for Vera. Since the company's IPO last October, this company has reported nothing but good news in its financial statements, always beating estimates on earnings and revenue, and its sales increased 26% year over year. In my opinion, it's only a matter of time before this stock takes off.
Any of these companies look like a good bet to me, despite the dicey performance of the latter two companies' stocks. All are worth a look, and there's something here that is sure to please, no matter what your fashion-investing taste.
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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Amanda Alix owns no shares in the companies mentioned above. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Coach. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
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