RL's problem is not in its financial performance. As you've noted they have produced strong results recently. It's out of favor status comes from a few thinks (I would argue):
1.)Cyclicality. If Wall St. is expecting a slow down of the economy, sales will slow as less money is spent on high ticket fashion and home goods. 2.) They see RL more as a fashion stock, as opposed to a brand name which will persist. And RL is not as "in" as other vendors presently. There's a view that Ralph's time has come and gone.
Where I think the major mistake being made is this: Ralph has always focused on "timeless" and high quality designs (note the word focused...all designers pander to the trends a little). This timeless theme is in his clothes, furniture, other home goods. Focus on this "classic" theme will tend to mitigate much of the trendiness associated with other fashion type stocks. The ability to expand this theme into almost limitless areas of goods allows RL to expand their liscencing agreements.
Finally, this stock has not been exactly cheap since its IPO. Most of the negative sntiment on this board has talked only about the stock performance, without any regards to valuation...which gives you an idea as to the types of investors they are: short term. At these prices, RL is a good buy. For those willing to buy and own stocks for long periods, 5-10 years, I think RL will surpise many on the upside. But long term conceptual investing is beyond the scope of most investors. If you want a short term 50% gain, this is not your stock. If you want a great company for the long term, RL is a good stock.
I wouldn't be in a hurry to trash RL at these levels. It has quietly been producing excellent financial results. If it is not currently popular among Wall Streeters, so be it. When they reach the point of having a free cash flow yield of 10% when long term bonds are trading at 5.2%, inevitably RL will attain a following.
If and when the Fed cuts short term rates, I expect RL to get a major boost, and could easily move to 30. In the short run, watch for a better than expected Holiday season.