Coach (COH), a leading marketer of American fashion accessories, is testament to the power of sound business practices. Coach is maker of, among other things, its iconic handbags. Double-digit growth in the United States and in China helped the company weather the horrific Japanese earthquake and tsunamis, which had shaved $20 million off third-quarter revenue and cut earnings by two and a half cents.
The disaster could affect fourth-quarter results as well. Coach reported sales of $951 million for its third fiscal quarter ended April 2, 2011, compared with $831 million reported in the same period of the prior year, a 14 percent increase.
Net income for the quarter came to $186 million, with earnings per diluted share of 62 cents, both figures up from net income of $158 million and earnings per diluted share of 50 cents in the prior year's third quarter, increases of 18 percent and 23 percent, respectively.
"We're extremely pleased with the strong sales and earnings gains we achieved, marking a continuation of the robust trends we have experienced for well over a year now. Our performance — led by another quarter of excellent North American comparable store sales — demonstrated the brand's vibrancy across channels and geographies," says Coach Chairman and CEO Lew Frankfort.
"As one would expect, the immediate impact to our Japanese business was significant, with improvement more recently. We're hopeful that business conditions will continue to steadily improve over the next few months."
The company is pleased with its results and wants shareholders to partake in the good fortune. They soon will, as the board has announced it will increase its cash dividend by 50 percent, raising it to an annual rate of 90 cents per share.
The stock's 52-week trading range has been wide, dipping to $33.75 and peaking at $64.43. Some analysts believe the share price is set to improve.
RW Baird raised its price target on Coach to $66 from $65 thanks to its expansion strategy, brand strength in China, and strong free cash flow. The consultancy has assigned an outperform rating on the company's stock.
Barclays raised its price target on Coach shares to $70 on strengthening sales, with an overweight rating. Weeden & Co. has initiated coverage on the company with a buy rating.
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