Coach Finally Remembered How to Have Good Earnings

24/7 Wall St.

Coach Inc. (COH) reported fourth-quarter and fiscal-year 2014 earnings Tuesday. For the quarter, the luxury goods maker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.59 on revenues of $1.14 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.89 on revenues of $1.22 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.53 and $1.09 billion in revenues.

For the full year, Coach posted EPS of $3.10, compared with a total of $3.73 in the prior year. Full-year revenues were also down, at $4.81 billion, compared with $5.08 billion a year ago. Analysts were forecasting EPS of $3.04 on revenues of $4.76 billion.

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It was a tough year for Coach, but it ended on an upbeat note. The stock is down about 35% in the past 12 months, with most of that loss coming since the company reported third-quarter earnings in late April. The company’s problems in the prior quarter included bad weather in the United States, lousy traffic, the shift in the Easter holiday and the list goes on.

That’s not the case this quarter. The company’s CEO said:

The fourth quarter capped a challenging year for the company, most notably in the North America women’s bag and accessory business. However, it was also a year of many accomplishments for Coach, including the successful integration of our retail businesses in Europe, surpassing $500 million in sales in China, and driving Men’s to about $700 million in sales globally. Most importantly, we laid the groundwork for our brand transformation.

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Coach’s ability to hurdle a very low bar put some enthusiasm behind the stock in premarket trading Tuesday morning. Our sense is that investors really want to believe that the company has turned it around. Our take on that is that it’s still too early to tell. Get back to us at the end of next quarter.

Shares were up nearly 6% in the premarket to $36.30, in a 52-week range of $33.39 to $57.95. The consensus target price for the shares was $36.30 before this report.

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