NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Francesca's Holdings Corp. (FRAN) - Get Report  climbed higher by 30.54% to $15.09 on Friday afternoon, following the company's announcement that Michael Barnes, the former CEO of Signet Jewelers (SIG) - Get Report , has been named chairman, president, and CEO of the specialty retailer.

Barnes was CEO of Signet from 2011, and led the jeweler's $1.46 billion acquisition of Zales Corp., transforming Signet into the largest specialty jewelry retailer in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., the company said.

Barnes will be taking over, effective immediately, for Neill Davis, who has resigned as Francesca's president, CEO, and a director.STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Additionally, Francesca's reported its preliminary results for its fiscal 2014 third quarter today, and is expecting net sales of approximately $87 million, and earnings of 17 cents per share.

Analysts are expecting EPS of 18 cents, on revenue of $88.43 million for the quarter.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates FRANCESCAS HOLDINGS CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate FRANCESCAS HOLDINGS CORP (FRAN) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • FRAN's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.05 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, FRAN has a quick ratio of 1.70, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 49.92% is the gross profit margin for FRANCESCAS HOLDINGS CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of FRAN's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, FRAN's net profit margin of 10.59% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • FRANCESCAS HOLDINGS CORP's earnings per share declined by 27.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FRANCESCAS HOLDINGS CORP reported lower earnings of $1.02 versus $1.05 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 9.8% in earnings ($0.92 versus $1.02).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Specialty Retail industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 29.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $14.62 million to $10.31 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: FRAN Ratings Report

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