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Michael Kors Rises After Forecast Exceeds Analysts’ Projections

Michael Kors released early summer products — including some that aren't available at other retailers — to bring customers into its stores.
Michael Kors store in Singapore | Source: Shutterstock
By
  • Bloomberg

LONDON, United Kingdom — Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. rose as much as 12 percent in early trading after forecasting profit for the current year that exceeded analysts' estimates, helped by new products that are drawing customers to its stores.

Profit will be $4.56 to the $4.64 a share in the year through March 2017, the London-based company said in a statement Wednesday. Analysts projected $4.51, on average. The luxury-goods maker also reported profit of 98 cents a share in the fiscal fourth quarter ended April 2, topping analysts’ 97-cent average estimate.

Michael Kors released early summer products — including those that are not available at other retailers — a strategy that may help bring customers into its stores, according to Ike Boruchow, an analyst at Wells Fargo & Co. The company also is working to improve its digital operations to boost sales.

“While there have been pockets of softness for Michael Kors, we have seen brand stability in our survey work,” Erinn Murphy, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co., said in a report. “We continue to believe that markets like Europe as well as China and Japan remain strong for the brand.”

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 11 percent to $1.2 billion, topping analysts’ $1.15 billion average projection.

The shares surged as high as $47.90 before the start of regular trading in New York. Michael Kors already had gained 6.6 percent this year through Tuesday.

New Buyback

The company also announced a new $1 billion share buyback program, which replaces its previous authorisation. That program had $358.1 million still available as of April 2.

Michael Kors has been trying to combat weak demand from department-store companies such as Nordstrom Inc. and Macy's Inc., which have reported sluggish sales for handbags and a slowdown in tourist spending because of the strong US dollar. Michael Kors's wholesale partners also have been slashing prices to clear a backlog of out-of-style products.

Michael Kors has weathered that softer demand by keeping better control of its inventory, said David Schick, an analyst at Consumer Edge Research. Michael Kors’s inventory increased 5.2 percent last quarter, less than half the pace at which its sales gained.

“We see this as an important element in reducing investor fear, especially with such sluggish performance from department stores,” Schick said.

By Stephanie Wong; editors Nick Turner, Kevin Orland and Tony Robinson.

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