Mulberry, Nike and G-III crown stock markets

Thursday, 08 December 2011

Mulberry, Nike and G-III stood on their own on Thursday, becoming main characters in both European and American stock markets. In the meantime, Asia proved once more to be the most resilient alternative for luxury firms.

In London, Mulberry Group left the losers team to post pretax profit of 15.6 million pounds ($24.5 million or more than Rs 127 crores) in the six months to September 30, up 231 per cent. That compares with £12 million (Rs 97 crores) forecast by Altium Securities. Market expectations range between 28 million (Rs 228 crores) and 30 million pounds (about Rs 244 crores) for the full year, with the average forecast at 29.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data. Shares in Mulberry, which have risen more than 60 per cent this year, rose 2.3 per cent to 1,525 pence -- compared with a 0.3 percent rise in the FTSE All Shares Index .FTAS -- valuing the business at almost £900 million (about Rs 7,332 crores). Companies like Burberry, Hugo Boss and Prada have continued to strike an upbeat tone on Asia in recent weeks, despite the havoc that debt woes in the euro zone have wreaked on investor sentiment.

Meanwhile, Kate McShane of Citi Investment Research raised her price target for Nike Inc. on Wednesday, saying the world's biggest athletic shoe and clothing company is getting a revenue lift from emerging markets, price increases and new footwear innovations. In a client note, the analyst said that Nike likely saw better-than-expected business in Europe during the second quarter based. She cited rival Foot Locker Inc.'s report of positive European results last month and the report by Adidas of wholesale and retail sales increases for Europe in its third quarter. Looking ahead, McShane said that Nike stands to benefit from price hikes of 5 per cent to 7 per cent, which won't be seen in stores until 2012. The analyst boosted Nike's price target to $113 (Rs 5,868) from $101 (Rs 5,245) and reaffirmed a "Buy" rating. Nike shares closed at $96.25 (Rs 4,998) per share on Tuesday, near their 52-week high of $97.68 (Rs 5,037).

Finally, Shares of G-III Apparel Group were gapping up Thursday morning with an open price 17.9 per cent higher than Wednesday's closing price. The stock closed at $20.36 Wednesday and opened today's trading at $24.01. The average volume for G-III Apparel Group has been 278,700 shares per day over the past 30 days.

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