Has Coach Reached Its Peak?

Coach sees its strongest sales and earnings beats in over two years. But will the handbag maker plateau?
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third-quarter earnings report may leave investors wondering, has the handbag maker reached its peak?

During the quarter, the company earned $188.9 million, or 63 cents a share, a 34% surge from $140.8 million, or 44 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts were calling for a profit of 55 cents a share for Coach.

Coach's revenue jumped 20% to $911.7 million, also above estimates of $846.8 million. North American sales at stores opened at least a year grew 8.5%, the biggest gain since the fourth quarter of 2008. The same measure rose 3% in Japan and by double digits in China.

Comparable sales have strengthened for three consecutive quarters as consumers are being wooed by lower-priced handbags.

This marks Coach's strongest sales and earnings beat in over two years.

But the company did not provide fiscal 2011 guidance, which may cause investors to remain cautious.

Still, Wall Street Strategies analyst Brian Sozzi says today's report could also be viewed as a sign of what's to come as international sales begin to dominate a slower U.S. growth story.

Coach continues to make an aggressive push in China, with plans to open 30 new stores in 2011.

The company is also benefiting from an increase in shipments to department stores and lower sourcing costs.

--Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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