The likes of PETA advocates Casey Affleck and Alicia Silverstone have apparently affected the sensibilities of trendy women's apparel retailer, Bebe Stores . The company has stated that beginning in January, it will no longer carry products with animal fur. Chief Executive Gregory Scott noted that Bebe's policy regarding fur has always been based on a strong belief in animal rights and the human and ethical treatment of animals. In the past year, the company has reduced its fur-trimmed inventory to less than 3% of its product line. Within 6 weeks, all traces of animal fur will be gone completely from the stores.
In other news, BEBE is scheduled to report earnings after the close tonight. Analysts are expecting per-share results of 17 cents, a nickel below year-ago earnings of 22 cents. Zacks gives the stock a ranking of 3.0, meaning earnings momentum could be a plus or a minus for the shares. Additionally, the stock must deal with an overall torpor in the retailing group as early holiday projections have been lackluster.
BEBE is following the market lower today and is currently down more than 4%. The stock has been trending south for over a year, losing about half of its value since early October. Throughout this decline, the stock has been guided continually lower by its 10-week and 20-week moving averages. This pair of intermediate-term trendlines rejected the stock late last month as it attempted to achieve some modest gains. Despite this long-term collapse, 9 of the 14 analysts following BEBE still name it a strong buy. Fatigue could set in as the stock continues lower, forcing the hand of some of these bulls into a downgrade.