Why Francecsa Holdings Popped


Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of specialty retailer Francesca Holdings (NAS: FRAN) rallied as much as 13% after the company announced the firing of its chief financial officer and the raising of its first-quarter guidance.

So what: Now that's what I call a recipe for a very, very, odd day! On the bright side, Francesca upped its previous first-quarter forecast of $0.14-$0.15 to a profit of $0.17-$0.18. The company now also expects same-store sales to come in ahead of its previous expectations. Also (and file this one under the "odd" column), the company fired its CFO, Gene Morphis, for improperly communicating company-specific information through social media. Details are still emerging as to exactly what Morphis communicated, but according to the Fool's Alyce Lomax, Forbes has reported that he publicly denigrated the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on Facebook.

Now what: Although I'm not aware of the severity of Morphis' infractions, what I can say is the first-quarter earnings boost is great news for a retail sector that saw very tepid same-store sales in April. Today's move is a start for getting Francesca's valuation more in line with its results, although it has a very long way to go at a still very aggressive 25 times forward earnings. For now, I'll remain on the sidelines.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorSean Williamshas no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen nameTMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen nameTrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle@TMFUltraLong.Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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