Under Armour & bebe up ahead of corporate news

Thursday, 03 May 2012

Both Under Armour and bebe saw good growth on Wednesday following corporate news. For the sportswear firm is all about football these days, whereas Bebe Stores are benefitting from a better than expected figures to be released on 3rd of May.

The Under Armour brand is poised for continued growth with a soon-to-be-released football cleat that's expected to drive footwear sales, as well as plans to keep expanding into international markets, executives told stockholders Tuesday. "Under Armour is not the cheapest product in the store, but we are the best," Kevin Plank, the company's chairman, president and CEO, told to the shareholders gathered for the Annual Stakeholders Meeting earlier this week. "We identify the issues and needs of athletes and fix those issues."

The company said last month it expected revenue this year of $1.78 billion (Rs 9,405 crores) to $1.8 billion (Rs 951 crores), a 21 % to 22 % increase over last year. Under Armour reported a first-quarter profit of $14.6 million (Rs 771 crores), or 28 cents (Rs 14.7) per share, compared with $12 million (Rs 634 crores), or 23 cents (Rs 12.1) per share, in the same period a year ago. The stock closed up on Wednesday, adding over 2.15% to the previous day price.


Elsewhere, bebe is expected to report earnings on May 3, with The Zacks Consensus Estimate calling for revenue of $119 million (Rs 628 crores) and EPS of $0.01 (Rs 0.5), as reported by Nasdaq on Wednesday. The year ago period saw revenue of $109 million (Rs 575 crores) and a loss of $0.03 (Rs 1.58). “Following the release last year, the stock moved higher by 4.7%. In February bebe reported revenue of $152 million (Rs 803 crores), roughly $4 million (Rs 211 crores) ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate and up from $136 million (Rs 718 crores) reported in year ago quarter. In addition, earnings per share came in at $0.08 (Rs 4.2), $0.01 (Rs 0.5) higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.07 (Rs 3.6). The beat of 14% was the smallest since the March 2011 quarter when bebe met the Zacks Consensus Estimate,” analysts from Zacks Investment Research highlighted in a note. From the end of January 2012, through the middle of February, short interest in bebe shares decreased from 1.6 million shares to 1.5 million shares. Since mid-February, short interest has increased, as stressed by market observers. The most recent data gathered by ASDAQ shows short interest as being more than 1.625 million shares.

Bebe Stores reported a 7.2% rise in same-store sales in the quarter ended March 31. Retail sales totalled $108 million (Rs 570 crores), up 7.1% from the same three-month period in 2011. Revenue fell shy of analysts’ forecast for $119 million (Rs 628 crores), reported ‘Forbes’. The stock was up more than 5% on Wednesday and it has beaten earnings for three straight quarters which has helped make it a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy), they added from Zacks’ analysis team.

Finally, Ascena Retail Group Inc. is buying Lane Bryant owner Charming Shoppes Inc. for about $890 million (Rs 4,702 crores), giving it access to the large-size women's clothing market. Charming also runs Fashion Bug, Catherines Plus Sizes and the direct marketing business Figi's. It had been looking for a buyer for its Fashion Bug operations since December. Ascena will pay $7.35 (Rs 388) for each Charming share. That is a 25 % premium to Charming's closing price of $5.90 (Rs 311.7) on Tuesday.

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