Burlington Stores, Inc. BURL has emerged as an investor favorite, courtesy of sound fundamentals and growth efforts. We note that shares of this NJ-based company have advanced 23.5% in the past six months compared with the industry’s growth of 17.8%. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has also comfortably outperformed the Retail-Wholesale sector and the S&P 500 Index that declined 1.7% and 0.3%, respectively, in the said period.
In an ever-evolving retail landscape, Burlington Stores has made multiple changes to its business model to stay relevant. The company has steadily increased vendor counts, made technological advancements, improved its marketing approach and focused on localized assortments. All these endeavors have helped the company to post decent comparable sales, and in turn fueled its top-line performance.
We note that comparable store sales rose 3.8% in second-quarter fiscal 2019 compared with increase of 2.9% in the year-ago period and 0.1% in the preceding quarter. This was the 26th successive quarter of comparable store sales growth. Management now expects comparable store sales to improve 2-3% in the third quarter and 2-2.5% during fiscal 2019.
The company has been doing quite well on the revenue front. Its revenues have not only outpaced estimates in 11 out of the 14 trailing quarters but have also shown constant improvement over the past few quarters. In the second quarter of fiscal 2019, the top line grew 10.5%, following an increase of 7.3% in the preceding quarter. Management now expects total sales to improve 8.5-9.5% in the third quarter and 8.8-9.3% during fiscal 2019.
Burlington Stores, which started business as a coat-focused off-price retailer, is focusing on “open to buy” off-price model. The current model is helping customers to get nationally branded, fashionable, high quality and rightly priced products.
The company is concentrating on underpenetrated categories, particularly home, beauty and gifts, in order to make business less weather sensitive. In fact, the company is reaping the benefits of its multichannel engagement strategy, which is evident from its favorable results. Moreover, it is gradually expanding its store fleet. The company intends to improve operating margin and lower the gap of the same compared with its peers by augmenting sales, optimizing markdowns and effectively managing inventory.
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