Why Children's Place Retail Stores (PLCE) Stock Is Higher

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Children's Place Retail Stores, Inc. (PLCE) are up 3.45% to $47.06 on heavy volume trading.

The company today announced that it entered into a franchise agreement with Grupo David, a leading retail corporation headquartered in Panama, to expand its brand to Latin America and the Caribbean with the potential to open 35 to 40 stores over the next few years beginning in the fall of 2014.

The company also announced that its board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.1325 per share to be paid July 17, 2014 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 27, 2014.

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Earlier, Children's Place reported first quarter 2014 net income declined 29% from the year before, although it beat expectations.

Net income was $15.3 million, or 68 cents per share, compared to $19.3 million, or 83 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue was down 3.1% percent to $410.1 million from $423.2 million.

Analysts had expected earnings of 61 cents per share and revenue of $408.1 million, according to FactSet.

For the full year, the company expects adjusted earnings of between $2.90 per share and $3.05 per share, compared with its previous guidance of between $2.85 per share and $3.05 per share. Analysts expect earnings of $3.01 per share.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CHILDRENS PLACE RETAIL STRS as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CHILDRENS PLACE RETAIL STRS (PLCE) 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 reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity."

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

  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $74.29 million or 20.66% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -4.54%.
  • PLCE has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.97 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, PLCE has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 7.10% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. In comparison to the other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, CHILDRENS PLACE RETAIL STRS's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: PLCE Ratings Report

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