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Urban's Holiday Sales Shine

Zacks Equity Research

Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) came up with strong sales results for the key holiday season. The company stated that net sales for the two months period ended December 31, 2012, jumped 15% year over year to $666 million.

Comparable retail segment net sales, including comparable direct-to-consumer channel, escalated 9%, reflecting robust sales across all brands.

Comparable retail segment net sales jumped 33% at Free People, while it rose by 10% and 5% at Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, respectively. Net sales at Direct-to-consumer increased 38%, while the wholesale segment marked an increase of 21% in net sales for the period.

Amid the positives, comparable-store net sales inched down 1%, reflecting the impact of charges associated with Direct-to-consumer returns at stores. Excluding the charges, comparable store net sales increased in the low single-digit.

For the 11-month period ended December 31, 2012, total net sales surged 12% year over year to $2.6 billion, while comparable retail segment net sales increased 6%. The company stated that comparable-store net sales edged down 1%, while Direct-to-consumer net sales soared 29%. Wholesale segment marked an increase of 11% in net sales during the period.

The company opened 46 new stores during the 11 months period ended December 31, 2012, including 15 Free People stores, 16 Urban Outfitters stores, 13 Anthropologie stores, 1 BHLDN store and 1 Terrain garden center. Urban Outfitters closed 1 Anthropologie store during the period.

Currently, we maintain a long-term Neutral recommendation on the shares of Urban Outfitters. Moreover, the company, which faces competition from Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) and Gap Inc. (GPS), holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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