Brean Murray Carret & Co. reiterated its price target of $60 on Guess? Inc. (NYSE: GES), saying the apparel retailer remains well positioned for uncertain times.
The brokerage, which has a 'Buy' rating on the stock, said it continues to view the company's business model as one of the strongest in retailing with material growth prospects in North America, Europe and Asia.
Guess?, much like any of our other denim based or contemporary plays (all of whom have released weaker-than-expected guidance for FY212) is not immune from an increasingly inflationary environment, analyst Eric Beder of Brean Murray wrote in a note.
Guess? on Wednesday posted fourth quarter earnings of $103.3 million or $1.11 per share, up from $86.6 million or $0.93 a share in the year-ago quarter. Global revenue rose 18 percent to $757 million. Comparable store sales declined 1.1 percent as traffic slowed down.
The company issued first quarter guidance markedly below the Street. Guess? expects first quarter profit per share of between 41 cents and 44 cents versus consensus of 61 cents. Revenue is projected in the range of $555 million to $570 million, 8 percent to 10 percent below consensus.
Given the carnage we have seen in the specialty retailing sector and management's natural predilection to under promise and over deliver, the conservative guidaance from Guess? should not have been a total surpise, Beder said.That said, the 1Q miss will give investors a pause in near term.
However, we continue to like GES longer term and would be buyers after the inevitable dip today as the company has continued to shift its denim demand to high performing categories like accessories and its international expansion strategy remains a higher margin material growth opportunity, the analyst said.
Beder cut his fiscal 2012 earnings estimate to $3.32 from $3.51, and rolled out fiscal 2013 earnings per share estimate of $3.85.
GES ended Wednesday's regular trading down 1.22 percent at $43.87. In pre-market trading on Thursday, the stock fell 7.07 percent to $40.77.