Tim Brown: Looking Good in Ralph Lauren
It's messy now and no one involved looks good. However, today I'm giving you a pick that is sure to make you look sharp.
Ralph Lauren (RL) is a company that not only makes stylish clothing, but is a good investment.
Shares closed at $60.13 on Friday. The stock has lost more than 32% of its value in the last year, and is trading well off its 52-week high of $93.49. It's a bit above its low of $50.55, but still beaten down.
I like this company for a number of reasons.Last month, Morgan Keegan analyst Brad Stephens upgraded Ralph Lauren to "market perform" from "underperform." The stock has done well despite analyst downgrades. In fact, in the note that was published in June, Stephens said that if Ralph Lauren delivers promising results in the most recent quarter, its stock has room to run. Ralph Lauren is scheduled to release its earnings on August 6, which is a week from this upcoming Wednesday. In the previous quarter, the company easily beat estimates, boasting a 41% increase in its net income. It also predicted sales growth for the current quarter. While its unclear how its "American Living" line of clothes at J.C. Penney (JCP) will pan out, personally, I like the company's prospects internationally. In the last quarter, the company noted strong sales in Europe. Additionally, I read an article recently that spoke about how China is now the world's third largest consumer of luxury goods and that Chinese consumers are snapping up items from companies like Ralph Lauren. The article said that by 2015, China's consumers should be responsible for buying 29% of the globe's luxury items.
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