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Ralph Lauren Swings to Loss Amid Pandemic - Shares Lower

Ralph Lauren shares fell after the upscale apparel retailer reported a fiscal-first-quarter loss that was wider than expectations.

Ralph Lauren  (RL) - Get Ralph Lauren Corporation Class A Report shares fell Tuesday after the upscale apparel retailer reported fiscal-first-quarter earnings that were weaker than expectations.

The coronavirus pandemic kept many clothes retailers closed for weeks, including Ralph Lauren’s own shops. The New York company's stores in important markets were shuttered for eight to 10 weeks.

Lauren shares recently traded at $64.12, down 8%. The stock had dropped 41% in 2020 through Monday.

For the quarter ended June 27, Ralph Lauren reported a net loss of $127.7 million, or $1.75 a share, swinging from a profit of $117.1 million, or $1.47, in the year-earlier period. 

The latest adjusted loss, $1.82 a share, exceeded the $1.75 a share loss predicted by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

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Revenue declined 66% to $487.5 million from $1.43 billion in the year-earlier quarter. The latest figure lagged the FactSet analyst consensus of just short of $600 million.

With brick-and-mortar sales stymied, digital sales provided a ray of light for Ralph Lauren, rising 13% in the quarter.

"The past few months have marked a period of extraordinary challenge, but also agility and resilience," Chief Executive Patrice Louvet said in a statement.

"Our financial performance this quarter reflects an unprecedented three months of covid-19-related impact around the world. 

"We are taking the opportunity to leverage this period of disruption to accelerate our core strategic focus areas, drive new areas of growth, and realign our resources accordingly."

Morningstar analyst David Swartz in June had offered positive commentary about Lauren. “Narrow-moat Ralph Lauren's restructuring over the past three years puts the company on solid footing as it navigates the extraordinary challenge of the covid-19 pandemic,” he wrote.