Share in Gucci-owner Kering SA (PPRUF) leapt more than 7% on Wednesday after the French luxury house reported third quarter revenues of €3.93 billion ($4.62 billion), up 28.4% year-on-year excluding currency movements and 8.5% ahead of analyst consensus.
Kering shares traded Wednesday morning as high as €390, their all-time record, before giving up some of those gains to swap hands at €389.40, up €26.6 or 7.33% on their Tuesday close.
Gucci was the star of the quarter, with sales up 49.4% over the third quarter, a massive 18.4% above analyst's average expectations. The strong results were rounded out by sales at Kering's Yves Saint Laurent brand, up 22.2%, and its long struggling Puma sportswear brand, which grew revenues by 17.3% year-on-year.
Consolidated revenues, which include currency movements, rose 23.2%.
The results won plaudits from Goldman Sachs. "Beyond such an impressive short-term beat, we believe Gucci's structural growth outlook is becoming increasingly visible and sustainable," Goldman analysts including Alberto D Agnano noted on Wednesday. "The global luxury demand environment is still supportive for brands with positive momentum...(while) polarization among market share takers and losers is increasing."
The results triggered a host of price target increases. Goldman upped its 12-month price target to €410 per share from €391, while JP Morgan increased its forecast to €400 from €370.
Luxury goods makers have had a strong 2017 as global demand, and notably Chinese demand, rebounded from recent lows as global economies and share markets grew strongly. Sales at Gucci's Asia Pacific unit jumped 55% over the third-quarter, excluding currency effects. Gucci also benefited from strong growth in its online sales, which grew by more than 100% over the quarter.
Kering's strong results follow a similarly bullish performance by rival LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (LVMHF) , which in October posted a 12% increase in sales over the three months to the end of September, 3 basis points ahead of analyst expectations. LVMH stock rose almost 1% on Wednesday, boosted by Kering's strong results.
Kering struck a note of caution as it attempted to damp expectations that its current growth would continue indefinitely, noting that the stronger euro would weigh on revenues in the coming quarters and that the revenue gains were coming of a low base due to the difficult sales environment in 2016.
"We will keep concentrating on organic growth, value creation and strict financial discipline," Chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault said in a statement. "Facing unfavorable currency impacts and a tougher base of comparison, we remain fully confident in Kering's ability to achieve a record year, fueled by sector-leading growth."
Despite that warning analysts were effusive in their praise. "Gucci remains the 'it' brand," noted Citigroup.
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