Unfortunately for current shareholders, it will be hard to figure out what multiple to put on the new $7 estimate figure. I think there will be those who say, "I can't give apparel a premium multiple because it is too fickle" and they will sell PVH down to the high $90s -- a slight haircut to the multiple of the S&P 500. I think that the quarter will weigh on VF Corp. (VFC), too, because it sells a ton of jeans. Ralph Lauren (RL) spillover shouldn't be that one-for-one, but I wouldn't be surprised if it also gets whacked pretty hard today off this number. Heck, even the red-hot Deckers (DECK) could get knocked down a bit by this one. I am not extending it to Lululemon (LULU) because that stock's in a hurting world of its own.
Lost in the shuffle of the Calvin miasma is how well Hilfiger's doing -- just fine, thank you. Makes me feel that without this acquisition, PVH would have blown out the numbers again. But without it, PVH would not be able to take advantage of all of the brand equity of the House of Calvin Klein and would not be able to build out its whole enterprise in Asia and Latin America. Those are musts for the company. They have to be in those markets for Tommy label expansion, and they will fix Calvin. They didn't buy this idly. They knew what they were getting into. I think, though, that times were better when they bought Tommy, and Manny's quite straightforward when he says that Tommy's European operation was always a well-run gem. The biggest mistake Manny may have made was overestimating how much weakness there was in Calvin Klein right now. All of that can be fixed, though, and you want to be in this stock before that fix is complete. No hurry yet, however.
Is there a larger takeaway here for all of retail? Tough call. The holiday season was terrific for PVH, which didn't close on Warnaco until February. That's old news now, though. The new news? The month of March? Not so hot. Not so hot for the weather and, therefore, not so hot for sales. Yep, the temperature's been way too cold for Tommy shorts and the rest of the spring apparel the merchants are hawking. I think that we are going to hear that gripe from a lot of retailers next week, which bodes poorly for a bunch of operators, particularly
(M) until, of course, it gets warm and then all is forgiven again. Always hard to play these weather trends.