Shares of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:KORS) plunged 24 percent Wednesday after the London-based handbag maker’s latest earnings release showed that sales cooled during the January-March quarter as tourists eased spending due to a stronger U.S. dollar. The slowdown also reflected a sharp sales decline for the company’s watches across the U.S.
Michael Kors’ stock price tumbled 23.9 percent to a 52-week low of $46.10 in afternoon trading.
The company experienced negative effects from shipping delays in its footwear, women’s wear and small leather goods products associated with the recent West Coast port dispute, John Idol, chief executive officer of Michael Kors, said during a conference call with shareholders Wednesday.
Meanwhile, demand for the brand’s handbags also slowed in North America. “The category is growing. But it's definitely growing more slowly than it grew in the past,” Idol said.
Michael Kors, which includes brand accessories, footwear, watches, jewelry and fragrance products, saw its same-store sales in the U.S. and Europe drop 6.7 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively.
Joseph Parsons, chief financial officer at Michael Kors, attributed several factors to the company’s same-store sales not meeting forecasts, including weak mall traffic trends in North America and weaker tourism traffic globally.
Although the company posted a nearly 18 percent rise in sales from the previous quarter, the company’s sales growth was the slowest pace since it went public in December 2011. Michael Kors had previously seen sales growth between 29.9 percent - 74.4 percent in the previous 13 quarters ahead of Wednesday’s report.
“We saw a decline in sales in the watch category, particularly in North America following many years of sequential growth due to what we believe is a category shift to our jewelry collection,” Parsons told analysts during the earnings call.
In the quarter ended March 28, Michael Kors reported quarterly net income of $182.64 million, or 90 cents, as revenue rose 17.8 percent to $1.04 billion, compared with a profit of $161.04 million, or 78 cents, on sales of $917.45 million during the same period a year ago.
Wall Street had expected the retailer to report earnings of 91 cents per share on $1.09 billion in revenue, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
The company also cut its outlook and now expects annual earnings of $4.40 per share to $4.50 per share, and revenue of $4.7 billion to $4.8 billion this year.
Shares of the company have lost just over 50 percent of its value in the last 12 months. Tuna Amobi, analyst at S&P Capital IQ, cut his 12-month price target on the company's stock from $85 to $60.