8. V.F. Corp. (VFC)
Company profile: V.F., with a market value of $16 billion, is the world's largest apparel manufacturer. It makes and markets jeans, sportswear, outdoor apparel, and footwear. Brands include Lee, Wrangler, The North Face, Nautica, Timberland and SmartWool. About 35% of revenue is international.
Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 17% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 43%. Analysts give its shares nine "buy" ratings, four "buy/holds," and nine "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. It's expected to earn $9.38 per share this year and that that will grow by 15%, to $10.80, next year.
7. TJX Cos. (TJX)Company profile: TJX, with a market value of $29 billion and a projected dividend yield of 2%, is a leader in off-price retailing with revenue of $22 billion last year. It has about 3,000 stores and is used many times by branded apparel manufacturers and retailers as an outlet to dispose of excess inventory. Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 18% this year, and 32% in the past three months and have a three-year, average annual return of 46%. Analysts give its shares 12 "buy" ratings, nine "buy/holds," and 11 "holds," per S&P. It's expected to earn $1.99 per share this year growing by 16% to $2.30 next year. It reported that February sales rose 12% year-over year, to $1.6 billion, with same-store sales rising 9%. Its CEO said that very favorable weather patterns during the month helped boost demand for spring apparel and there was "excellent performance across the board." 6. Ross Stores (ROST) Company profile: Ross Stores, with a market value of $13 billion, is one of the largest off-price retailers of brand-name apparel and home accessories in the U.S. It operates over 1,000 "Ross Dress for Less" stores, and 90 dd's Discounts stores. S&P looks for sales of $8.6 billion in fiscal 2012 (ended January 31) and $9.3 billion in fiscal 2013. Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 20% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 52%. Analysts give its shares nine "buy" ratings, four "buy/holds," and 16 "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. Ross Stores reported today that earnings for the fiscal year ended Jan. 28 grew 23% to $2.86 per share on sales growth of 9.4% to $8.6 billion. It's earnings are expected to grow 20% in 2013, according to analysts. 5. Luxottica Group (LUX) Company profile: Italys' Luxottica Group, with a market value of $17 billion, is the world's largest manufacturer of sunglasses and prescription eyewear, and is also the world's biggest eyewear retailer. At year-end, it had about 7,000 retail stores worldwide. Morningstar notes that it's also one of the largest managed vision care operators in the U.S., through EyeMed, and is the second-biggest lens finishers through its labs at LensCrafters' retail locations. Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 28% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 41%. Analysts give its shares one "buy" rating, two "holds," and one "weak hold," according to a survey of analysts by S&P.
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