Coach's Dud Won't Sink Michael Kors

Coach's Dud Won't Sink Michael Kors

Coach isn't flying first class today after a soft quarterly report, but that shouldn't scare investors away from Michael Kors as the smaller retailer of luxury handbags gears up to report its own fresh financials next week.

Yes, Coach's report was a disappointment. Net sales climbed a weaker-than-expected 6% to $1.22 billion, and adjusted net income inched a mere 1% higher. North American comps actually declined 1.7%. Making matters worse, a pair of executives will be leaving the company at the end of next month.

As a bellwether for luxury retail, it's easy to get alarmed. Wasn't this the same Coach that increased its quarterly dividend two months ago, signaling to investors that its near-term prospects were rosier than this?

It was a big surprise to see Joe's Jeanswhiff badly two weeks ago. The luxury denim retailer's net sales growth of 8% was roughly half what Wall Street expected. Joe's Jeans was held back by a brutal 6% slide in same-store sales.

If folks aren't aping celebrities in paying at least $158 for a pair of jeans at Joe's or $458 for a leather satchel at Coach, aren't all premium retailers in trouble?


For starters, Kors is growing a lot faster than Coach or Joe's Jeans.

Revenue at Kors surged 57% in its previous quarter, with net income more than doubling. The key catalyst here was a 37% spike in comparable-store sales. If you think that's something, comps soared 41% during the quarter before that.

It would be a major shock if Kors follows Coach and Joe's Jeans into negative comps next week.

More to the point, remember that 41% burst in same-store sales at Kors during the holiday quarter? Coach's North American comps slid 2% during its holiday quarter.

Kors and Coach may sell pricey purses and accessories, but that's about the only thing that they have in common these days.

The market knows that, and it's likely why shares of Kors opened higher this morning despite the hit that Coach is taking.

Kors will be just fine next week.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Coach. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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