Analyst likes Children's Place new CFO pick

Caris analyst likes Children's Place choice for new CFO, says Scarpa is a seasoned veteran

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Caris analyst on Tuesday lauded The Children's Place's pick for its new chief financial officer, citing his management experience at other publicly traded companies.

THE CHANGE: The children's clothing retailer on Monday named Michael Scarpa its new CFO, effective Dec. 3, as its CFO is leaving to pursue other interests after only seven months in that role.

Scarpa, 56, was previously the CFO and chief operating officer of women's clothing chain The Talbots Inc., which was taken private in August. Children's Place said Scarpa also worked at Liz Claiborne Inc. for 25 years.

THE OPINION: Caris & Co.'s Dorothy Lakner said in a client note Tuesday called Scarpa a "seasoned veteran" who was a good fit at The Children's Place due to his management experience at public companies, particularly Talbots. Conversely, the children's clothing seller's departing CFO, Steven Baginski, had previously worked for a privately held company, and earlier positions at public companies weren't as high-profile, she said.

The analyst maintained an "Above Average" rating.

THE BIG PICTURE: Sales at The Children's Place Retail Stores Inc., which is based in Secaucus, N.J., have yet to recover to levels from before the Great Recession, and the company recently cut its earnings forecast for the year because of increased promotions after Superstorm Sandy.

The Children's Place's is working to boost profitability by better controlling its stockpiles of merchandise and making that merchandise more appealing to shoppers, said Lakner.

SHARE ACTION: Shares rose $1.24, or 2.6 percent, to $49 in midday trading. The stock had dropped 10 percent this year.

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